“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.” - Marie Kondō
Cleaning Out My Closet
Every spring, you clean your house, getting rid of ‘stuff’ that has accumulated over the year. It is a time of cleansing, of starting new, of purging things that clutter. And if you’ve been watching Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondō, we bet you’ve already been inspired to get rid of that which doesn’t “spark joy”.
What is often overlooked by most of us is that we have ‘stuff’ in our lives – whether tangible or not – that we take with us. One of the critical elements of realizing your career vision is getting rid of the stuff that you won’t need on your journey or at the end. That means you need to find things that block you from moving towards your vision, clear them from your path, and chart a path for moving forward. Emails from 2010? Presentations from a job or two ago? Clothes from a previous career that you might "wear one day"? Or maybe it's feedback that you were given by someone a long time ago that still repeats itself come review time.
Try this exercise to identify, understand, and clear some of the things that are blocking you. Don't rush, take your time, and embrace the challenge. You will come out of it stronger, lighter, and ready for a fresh start.
25 Things: An Exercise
Experts tell us that difficulty throwing stuff away isn’t just about lack of time or initiative; for many it’s often a way to avoid change. Getting rid of, or tidying up, a real mess can also mean tackling mental and emotional clutter and letting go of the past. "Things" can represent people, places, and memories that are hard to let go of – both good and bad.
We know from experience that getting rid of junk can be genuinely refreshing. A newly cleaned room feels peaceful and spacious — not to mention fully functional, now that the treadmill-turned-clothes-rack and filing cabinet is ready to run.
Physically throw out 25 things career or job-related from your home and office space that has been with you for way too long. Here's the exciting part: think about each item, remember where it came from, why you kept it, and then actually say goodbye. Out loud. Why? Psychologists call it closure, and it's essential that you end the relationship you have with that object. You can choose to donate items or recycle them - it's up to you. The last step is to share your experience (and some of the things you threw out) with a trusted confidant. The act of sharing helps with closure, and it very well may inspire your confidant to do the same.
If you need a little more decluttering inspo, try some of our favorite resources:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō
A NYT bestseller from decluttering expert Marie Kondō on creating a minimalist space for fresh beginnings.
Declutter Your Life: How Outer Order Leads to Inner Calm by Gill Hasson
A must-read on finding inner peace through minimizing outward chaos.
The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders
An autobiography documenting Cait Flanders' conscious decision to go a full year without shopping and what she discovered in the process.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
A documentary exploring different individuals living a minimalist life and how learning to live with less has impacted them.
Less Stuff, More Happiness by Graham Hill
A Ted Talk from writer and designer Graham Hill on how having less can lead you to a more fulfilling life.
31 Minimalist Apps
31 apps that effortlessly integrate into your everyday life to help keep you productive while still keeping it simple.