I'm Not a Minimalist But....

In January, I entered a contest online to win three hours of an organizer's time, in a contest generously sponsored by Leah Morris from Mindfully Minimized. This is the photo of my office space that I submitted to prove how badly I needed her help (if you're a client, you may not want to look....). Perhaps not shockingly, I won, I think because she felt sorry for me.

You all know I struggle with minimalism. So, although I badly needed this, I was not at all sure it would work for me, or even if I was up to the task. I just don't ever seem to have the minimalist mindset. I was pretty sure I would end up in tears, and Leah would run screaming (or at the very least least kind of annoyed with me).

Leah asked me to do very little prep, but my "homework" was to come up with thee words that described my space/the project. I chose:

-  cluttered
-  overwhelmed
-  guilty

The last word really wraps it up. Guilty for squandering space, for not keeping track of things, for not being my best self.

We started the session last Friday with a 1-minute meditation about the space, and even that started out cluttered. It made me realize how much this was weighing on me.

And then we headed up to the 3rd floor to do the work!

Leah was a rockstar in keeping me on-task. It was a lot of sitting on the floor and sorting paper, but she helped me do so in a way that I did not get overwhelmed. She refused to let me hold on to piles "to handle later," and kept things labeled and going. As we worked, she was very supportive, helping me feel like I really did have things under control.

I've worked with amazing organizers before who have kept me on task and who did great work. But Leah had a particularly good business sense that helped me really thing about my habits in my workspace — what worked well for me and what needed change. She complimented me and made me feel encouraged. She was fantastic at encouraging aspirations, but coming down a little hard on me when she suspected they might be delusions.

It took us 3 hours, which was incredibly emotionally hard work (it probably didn't help that my dad's place got listed in the middle of it). We filled the entire recycling can, and she took some stuff with her to donate (so it would get out of my place and I would not have time to reconsider). And there's still plenty left to do up there. I have some great new filing system ideas.

There's still some art to hang, some papers to sort, and some other things to do. But after a little more time working on it over the weekend, I feel like the office space is mine, that I can keep it under control, and that I can be of better service to my clients by being more organized. Plus I like spending time up there better, so I got a lot more work done today!

I had kind of been craving some time in a coworking space (like The Coven — and I still would not turn someone down if they invited me with a day pass!) But in general, I really love working from home when I can, and this change was badly needed. I am incredibly happy with the transformation of my space, and can't say enough good things about Leah and Mindfully Minimized!


Dave said…
Wow! That looks like a lot more than 3 hours work! Great job! Have you decided to make any changes to the way you work now?

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