The clutter in your closet – at home or the office – might be holding you back from the career change or ideal life you seek. Here are five steps to clarity and focus from Marie Kondo, best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Her premise is fresh and to-the-point. She believes that any semblance of physical clutter puts us in a state of fragmentation. Breaking free can help you focus on what is truly important. Spoiler alert: her method mandates a major purge, some might say extreme. But it’s really about streamlined, strategic decision making to be applied in all areas of life.
1. Identify your Goal.
Kondo encourages the reader to visualize the destination. How do you want to feel every day in your new life? What will your career activities be? She wants you to think in concrete terms so that you can vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space. Will you be creating, managing, inventing, investing? Will you be working solo or overseeing a team?
2. Empty ALL of your Clothing Closets.
Put all items on your bedroom floor. I’m not kidding. Kondo’s method is to start by discarding, all at once, intensely and completely, category by category. It’s not about what you toss, it’s a mindful determination about what you keep. The criteria: Does it bring you joy? You thank items for their service, then send them along to another life via donation or consignment – guilt-free.
3. Organize What You’ve Kept.
You will align what you return to your closet by color and length. Fold items so they are on vertical display in drawers, rather than piled on top of one another. There is a special Kondo method of folding scarves, sweaters and lingerie. Because you have curated the selection, you will feel like you are walking into your own boutique every day.
4. Category #2 Books.
By now, you are getting the hang of Kondo’s tidying decision making. Yes. No. In. Out. Her view is that you can find anything you discarded on-line. Your local library branch will appreciate the donations. You can always re-read via Kindle. The book titles will depict your career life path of interests and enlightenment.
5. Now for the Big Daddy – Paper!
This was the main purpose of my personal Kondo purge. I have a very large home office and several storage rooms for files. But, my husband was gearing up for early retirement and I needed to make a work space for him. While this stage of Kondo tidying will entail a dusty slog of purge-shred-scan, it will also be a highly rewarding celebration of your career, lifework and a clarifying process of what you want to continue, leave behind or re-invent.
Continue with other home/office/personal categories, and you are well on your way to a new and refreshed approach to living and working.
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