I have declared war on clutter. This weekend I weeded out documents from 1999 to 2007. It may not seem like a step toward achieving my goal, but this goal is more than just a job; it's about cleaning out the clutter in my life and letting go. Besides working with mentors and updating my PMP application, I'm putting my home office in check. I've researched how long to keep tax returns and what documents can be tossed after a year, which I was surprised included monthly statements and utility bills. I may have only tackled 7 years of documents, but it feels amazing to know that I can let it go. I don't have to hold onto them out of fear that someone will come back demanding to know how much I paid for cable in 2006. Piles upon piles of papers are now waiting to be burned in a glorious blaze of success.
I have also used this cleaning spree to organize my thoughts on finances, career, life, and home. I love to collect articles that inspire me. Some articles provide useful information, such as how long to keep paper documents, and some are stories that inspire me. I had a folder where I had stashed these gems, but it wasn't very useful. Everything jumbled together and nothing was organized. Instead of hitting the gym one night, I grabbed $20 worth of office supplies and made a nice little portfolio. Now all of my clippings and printouts are categorized by subject with three hole page protectors and dividing tabs. Yes, I am that nerdy. You should see what I did to my collection of recipes.
Cleaning out my closets has been a great release. It showed me that some items are important to keep and others are just markers of time. I value my family and friends. Achievements are important to me and personal growth is a lifelong aspiration of mine. That crowded closet can weigh on your mind. I found myself thinking about the clutter rather than living in the moment with the people that matter. Now that it's gone, I hardly remember why I kept it in the first place. Trying to hold onto every aspect of your life is exhausting and takes up space that could have been used to add more joy to your day. Let go of the fear that you "might need that someday" and the clutter will be easy to clear away.