Well, first I started with myself (doing a fast/cleanse) and then I moved to the house.
Yes, you read right. I completely decluttered and cleaned my office and house.
So what precipitated such a drastic move? (And trust me, it was a pretty drastic move. I’m not big into cleaning.) It was a few things:
1. My house cleaner quit. Rather abruptly I might add (although in retrospect I should have seen it coming). She’s one of the sickest people I’ve ever met in my life. If she showed up 3 times in a row without rescheduling or juggling I’d practically need smelling salts to keep me from swooning.
So why didn’t I fire her? I thought about it. Many times. But I never did. First off, I felt bad for her. I knew she had trouble keeping customers (not for good reason) and I didn’t want to put an even bigger financial strain on her. And I knew she WAS trying. It wasn’t like she was consciously trying to be sick.
But there was a second, even more pathetic reason. One I never let fully surface because it was so embarrassing. My house had gotten so cluttered over the last couple of years I was afraid to let another house cleaner see it (much less clean it). How low is that?
(The problem is, once the clutter starts, and if you don’t take the time to get a handle on it, it sort of takes a life of its own.)
Anyway, my old house cleaner took the decision out of my hands by telling me “next time I clean your house will be the last” (she was no longer going to be cleaning ANYONE’S house, not just my cluttered one). So I started looking for another house cleaner. (Clutter or no clutter, I wasn’t going to be doing my own cleaning). And, for better or for worse, I finally had to face the fact my house was a disaster.
However, despite all of that, I’m happy to say I found a new house cleaner and she is working out beautifully.
But the clutter was still a problem, and it was still weighing on me for the week between when I hired her and when she was going to start.
2. During this time, I was busy writing copy for one of my favorite clients, Melanie Benson Strick, Success Connections (and also my business success coach). What I was writing for her was the promotion for her Clean Sweep Day. (For those of you wanting to do your own clean sweep, definitely check it out — http://tinyurl.com/joun3 — it’s free to participate.) Anyway, when you do a Clean Sweep one of the areas you commonly focus on is your environment. Specifically what clutter and mess you’re putting up with which is sucking your energy away from what’s really important (like working on your business). So while I was switching house cleaners, I was also immersed in “reasons why a Clean Sweep is such a powerful thing for your business.”
3. We had a bunch of lightning storms up here, one that ended up knocking out the phone and Internet for 2 days. Therefore work wasn’t much of an option.
So, what did I do? I tackled decluttering. I spent 4 days decluttering my house and office — the weekend and the two days I was “technology free.”
I threw out 9 bags of garbage including old files and other stuff that simply didn’t pertain to my business anymore. I also donated a Yukon-full of books and magazines to the Prescott Library and clothes to a food bank. (I was a busy girl.)
The result? I can’t tell you how much better I feel. The first day I could almost feel my house taking a deep sigh of relief. And I truly do have more energy and more focus. I can finally LOOK at my house (before, my coping mechanism was to not “look” at house so I didn’t “see” the clutter.)
The next step? Keeping it clean. (Will keep you posted on how THAT goes.)