Day 2 is Leaning In

There are as many ways to accomplish your goals as there are humans in the world.  Some people like to take charge, balls to the wall and just go at it like a bull.  Others like to take it one tiny step at a time.  I believe in the concept of leaning in.

For years, one of the goals that comes closest to me as a person is the concept of professional organizer.  I have even done some inquiries to take courses and learn the tricks of the trade.  It is a goal that comes from the heart, as I have probably one of the most disorganized apartments in the planet.  I realize that I don’t have enough furniture for all my stuff.  I also have a lot of stuff I don’t use.  So this year, as part of the leaning in process, we as a family decided to not purchase anything for the first six months of the year that was not a necessity.  We defined necessities as food, personal effects like shaving cream, shampoo, soap, etc.; gasoline, dog food and medications.  This is not about saving money.  It is about learning to live with what we already have and make space for some of our belongings that are still paying rent back in Puerto Rico.

As I go through the house, I notice that I have books and magazines that I have purchased twice, and things that I have never used.  And so the dream of becoming a professional organizer stems from my personal need to control my own clutter.  I have always believe that it takes one to know one.

As part of my own curriculum, I also want to train as a personal coach because I know for a fact that clutter is not about things, it is about the people who buy the things and I want to help others figure out what they are substituting.  For me, it is fairly a simple endeavor.  I know somewhere in my brain, I equate things with wealth.  So now I have to make sure that I give these things a home (not necessarily mine), in order to reclaim my space and actually see the value of the empty space.

While I figure out which training I will take and how much it will cost me to get certified, I decided to lean in to my own clutter.  How do I define leaning in?  By taking one small space at a time and clearing it out of anything that does not go there.  Take one of my kitchen counters, for example.  This particular counter is on top of the dishwashing machine.  Here is the view.

This is the counter before I lean in.
This is the counter before I lean in.

I actually had started clearing it before I took the picture, so imagine how packed it was that it had stuff all the way to the front.  Now, some things belong in the counter, and I am not saying that I will leave it bare.  What I am saying is that we must have a home for all things and some of them do not live in the counter.  Add to that the fact that some of these things are empty but nobody knows because they are not transparent, and you get this.

So now, I have finished that small little counter and it looks like this.

This is that small counter ten minutes later.
This is that small counter ten minutes later.

There is another counter behind it that needs a lot of TLC, but this particular counter is now spotless and gives a visual reference to all members of the family that this is where we are going.  Am I going to tackle the rest of the kitchen today?  Maybe.  Will I pick another small portion in another room in the house?  More than likely.  Does it bother me that the entire kitchen is not spotless?  No.  Things do not get cluttered in one day, unless you are moving and then everything is everywhere.  The goal here is not perfection, is learning to live with what we have.  Before you know it, everything will be looking nice and THAT is the point.  Take one thing at a time, whatever your goal is and lean into it.  Do as much as you can.  In my case, every trip from one room to another does double duty.  It takes me and some of my things, to their destination.

What challenges do you have?  If you want to do everything in one day, I am not the resource for you.  If you want to go slow and steady, I am your tortoise, ready to go.  Leave your comments in the section below.