Emotional Clutter

afghanIn an old episode of Friends, a snarky boyfriend of Phoebe remarks to Monica, as she crams cookies into her mouth, “They’re just food; they’re not love.”

Ouch. The truth hurts.

Our emotions impact everything we do, whether we’re aware of it or not. Emotions are the force behind what we say, what we value, and what we cling to, whether those things are memories or grudges or granny’s frayed afghan.

Take a look around the room you’re sitting in and see if there are things around you that you don’t really want or need, but that hold some emotional charge for you. Oh yeah, we all have something that fits this description.

The key words in the above sentence are “don’t really want or need.” Emotional charge in itself is not BAD. In fact, a positive emotionally-charged object can energize a space quicker than you can snap your fingers.

But all objects, and especially clutter, have emotional components. Some of these emotions are conscious i.e. “That tea pot collection was my mother’s and I hate to get rid of it even though it’s really not my style.”porcelain

Some emotions are unconscious, i.e. “I’m hanging on to those size 8 clothes because I was happy then” or “I stockpile food in all my closets because I feel so uncertain of the future.”

A Personal Organizer can help with both these emotional components — and a good organizer is aware of both — but the client also needs to take responsibility for change if anything an organizer offers is going to make a permanent impact.

Anyone can clean up a messy space once, but it takes deliberate intention to keep a space clear of items that no longer serve that space. Here are some questions that can help clarify the issue:

  • “Do I keep this item out of guilt or responsibility?”
  • “Does this thing support the person I am NOW?”
  • “Am I finding things I’d forgotten — or didn’t know — I had?”
  • “Is this a useful or necessary item?”
  • “Do I have duplicates (or more) of the same item?”
  • “Does this object bring joy and beauty to my day?”
  • Is this harder process than I thought it would be?

De-cluttering the emotional debris is hard work, even for the most “organized” among us. But doing the work will help clear the path to the next steps in your life, if and when you’re ready.

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.comJeanne Fiorini can make being organized easier and less painful than you might think.  Visit the She’s Neat website or contact Jeanne at shesneat@myfairpoint.net.

Disorganization: What Do You Get Out Of It?

messy papersI don’t have a problem using the words of people wiser than me in order to make a point. Why try to say again what someone else has already articulated perfectly?

The “Meaning makes a great many things bearable” quote from Carl Jung cited in a previous blog is a good example of this habit.

Here’s one for today’s post, this one from Dr. Phil … oh come on, did I just hear some of you groan with disdain?

“You must be getting something out of the behavior or else you wouldn’t do it.”

Oh, how we love to disagree with this statement.

What do you mean, I HAVE to keep this crappy job.”

“That’s not true, I just can’t get out of this marriage no matter how bad it gets.”

“I’d really like to lose weight but that bag of Oreo’s tasted so good.”

“I love to get organized but I just don’t have the time.”

We have to face the fact that Dr. Phil makes a true statement: there must be some reward for any behavior or we would surely find another option. The “reward” might be something important and useful, like security or self-protection or health insurance; or it could be something less positive in nature, such as the avoidance of responsibility or the denial of personal power.

Being disorganized is only a problem if it’s having a negative impact on one’s life. But if stress levels are high because of it, if time is wasted because of it, if relationships are challenged because of it, and if being disorganized hinders a person from getting where they want to be in life (both literally and figuratively), then it’s time to take stock of why the condition persists.

As Dr. Phil says, there must be a reason this is allowed to happen.

If being disorganized has become an issue in your life, ask yourself:

What am I getting out of staying disorganized?
What’s the payoff?
What is gained by keep clutter around, or by not organizing the closet, or by not dealing with that rising pile of papers, mail, and bills?
What do I think I’ll lose if I get this mess cleaned up?
Why do I keep the same systems of chaos in place?
What’s the reward here?

Sure, it’s going to be easier for some people to make changes toward being organized than for others. But any plan to “get organized” isn’t going to stick if the reward for staying dis-organized has not been recognized. Once the rewards of both options are recognized, creating space for what really matters in your life can take place.

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.comJeanne Fiorini can provide lots of good reasons to get organized! Visit the She’s Neat website or contact Jeanne at shesneat@myfairpoint.net.

New Blog Topic: She’s NEAT

In addition to musings and ramblings about the world of Tarot, comedy clubs, and yard sales, you’re apt to be seeing some posts here about a new business I’ve got going called She’s NEAT.

I’ve come to understand that not everyone desires — or is able to — be neat … be organized … know where to find things in the house … provide compartments for various types of screwdrivers .. make sure their spices are lined up in alphabetical order.

OK, I don’t do those last two things, but I wish I had a dollar for every time someone remarked on my tidy home and/or my organizational skills. I’ve decided to put this surely-genetic trait to some good use and am offering it up as She’s NEAT: a personal organization service offering practical esthetics for home and office.

The business will provide de-cluttering services, space clearing, furniture placement and rearrangement, closet overhauls,  functionalization of work spaces, and in essence, find ways to create a functional and harmonious environment in which you can go about your business.

It might not be readily apparent, but this new business has a great many similarities to the Tarot work.

A Tarot reading de-clutters the mind. A Tarot reading clears the air of misconceptions; it rearranges and compartmentalizes thoughts, feelings, and plans. A good Tarot reading paves the way for more intentional action and decision-making, and creates space for a more functional and harmonious life.

What I’ve been doing for chakras 3-7 will now also take place in the first and second.

An essential principle of feng shui is that a neat house is a lucky house. In the same way that we can’t  make a good decision when our heart and head is spinning with confusing and sometimes conflicting agendas, we can’t get out of the house in the morning if we can’t find our car keys. Turns out, neatness counts.

I work in the Southern Maine area, but even those of you who live “away” can send along your 2-minute videos! Send me the pics of your chaotic or inefficient spaces and we’ll cook up ways to get your everyday environment working more effectively for you.

Jeanne Fiorini is congenitally neat and organized, as is evident by the She’s NEAT Facebook page and the TarotWorks web site. So much to organize, so little time.

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