Benefits and Turnaround for Week 47 (Decluttering and Simplifying 2010)

This afternoon — as I was picking up two CDs and a cleaning cloth that I had knocked off the small table near my computer when I was reaching for a roll of tape — I realized something important about my yearlong decluttering and simplifying project: I’ve made more progress than I’ve allowed myself to realize.

Landslides of unimaginable proportions were daily happenings in my office until I started decluttering it. And while I haven’t done everything that I promised myself I would, I have eliminated mounds of useless clutter and unneeded papers that I had allowed to pile up at my left hand for years. I also eliminated the six-foot table that collected this junk, although it’s still folded in a corner awaiting a new home.

Picking up a few items off the floor created the sudden realization that I haven’t had to pick up anything I accidentally knocked off in weeks. My office is a nicer place in which to work and our whole home is a nicer place to live — and it’s not the jumbled fire hazard of nonsense that it was only a few months ago.

The progress throughout the house — although it has now slowed — has already been amazing.

That’s not actually what I was going to talk about today, however. This week has been focused on getting my financial situation back on track.

I didn’t spend much time decluttering this week, and I didn’t put any effort into further reducing our business and household expenses. I told you in the last two updates that those were priorities at the moment. But my third priority — relaunching my writing career — took center stage.

I printed a sheet to hang on the wall at my desk, near David’s desk and on the front door with a three-part plan called The Great November Turnaround. I won’t bore you with the exact three points because they wouldn’t really mean anything to you, but they are three things that I plan to do this month related to my bookselling business and my writing career that will get some money flowing again. Getting to the writing clients that I want will take some time, but there are plenty of ways to make money writing until then.

November will be the month when the torn-apart pieces of my complex life start falling back into place in my new simpler, smarter life. It may not make much sense to you now because I don’t have many specifics to present.

It’s an attitude shift. I’m no longer struggling. I’m building a better life.

Are you taking action in November to make your life better?


  1. Hi Gip–you have me intrigued and wondering just what these pieces of life are and how you are putting them all in place. Looking forward to further posts by you on this topic.

    October was a good month for me, but for November I want to sharpen up my focus a bit and lay the groundwork for the next ebook. It will be hard not to get distracted by quicker sources of income, though.

    Congrats on the fact that the stuff you knocked over was stuff that belonged there!

    1. Yes, Meg, I realize I’m leaving today’s post rather vague. I just couldn’t come up with a better way to say it today. I’m getting nearly to summary time for this 52-week decluttering and simplifying project, so maybe I’ll be making better sense by then.

      Thanks for reading, as always.

  2. Gip,

    Thanks for your testimony with battling clutter! I am dealing with this issue myself. I moved about 2 years ago and am still trying to find where to put or keep things. I also seem to continually collect items I don’t need. My goal is to organize and begin really focusing on using an office space. Once this is done it will free up much space. Thanks!

    1. I’m glad you’re reading, Joe. I’m reading your blog, too.

      If you aren’t using something on a daily or weekly basis, you probably don’t need it. My local Goodwill store got lots of my junk, and the trashmen got the rest. I still have a long way to go.

      Having a devoted working space really makes a difference. It needs to be organized to fit your personality, which, in my case, is a bit disorganized.


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