Unclutter My Life

lifechangingbookI’m not sure what has happened to me but lately, as in the last 6 months, I have felt this incessant need to unclutter my life.  I day dream about getting rid of stuff and clearing out space.  {this coming from the gal who loves stuff}

I had this epiphany…I have a lot of stuff that not only doesn’t matter to me but that we also don’t ever use.  Why am I holding on to this stuff?

Fortunately for me and my family, I’m not a hoarder nor do I have a lot of tchotchkes around the house.  However, my closet is over flowing with clothes I never wear, there are cabinets with stuff in them that we never use and my desk is always cluttered with office supplies {#papernerd}.  I want to donate all of this stuff and get it out of my life, pronto!

What’s interesting is that I am not alone in this new found quest…several of my friends are going through this as well and there are articles and books written on this subject.  I came across one such book that I am currently reading–The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.

I can already tell you that this book is going to change my life! I’ve just started the book but she warns not to get started tidying until you’ve read the whole book…ugh, that’s going to be tough for me. I better read fast.

In the book, Kondo talks about how better her clients feel once she teaches them to “tidy up” their lives. There are stories of clients who didn’t want to go to work because their office was a mess, or they couldn’t sleep well because their bedroom was so cluttered with stuff.  She writes that tidying up is freeing and allows energy and light to flow into your life. Kondo is adamant that this is a process and she teaches you how to tidy up so that it’s not a constant struggle.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

“Spark Joy” I love this! If there’s something in my house that doesn’t bring me joy, why do I have it in my house?

Tell me…have you been thinking about the clutter in your life?

What I am Reading–January

makeyourmarkIf you followed along last year, you know that I read and report on a business book a month.  You can catch last year’s books on my bookshelf to the right on my homepage.

This month I am reading Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact by the folks from 99U.  I love reading articles at 99U so I knew I would love their book as well.  It’s a quick read and a good sized book.  Smaller than most books (easily fits in a purse or bag) but edgy with lots of color and short chapters.   I also like that it has insight from a lot of entrepreneurial thought leaders…tons of great advice.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Finally, a business book for makers, not managers.
Are you ready to “make a dent in the universe”? As a creative, you no longer have to take a backseat. In fact, stepping up and embracing entrepreneurship is the fastest route to impact. But where do you start? And what sets the businesses that succeed apart?
To find out, we asked the bright minds behind companies like Google X, Warby Parker, Facebook, O’Reilly Media, and more to share their startup wisdom. Featuring hard-won wisdom from twenty leading entrepreneurs and designers, 99U’s Make Your Mark will arm you with practical insights for launching a purpose-driven business, refining your product, delighting your customers, inspiring your team—and ultimately—making something that matters.

What I am Reading-November

girlbossThis month I tried something new, I am listening to the book on Audible instead of reading the book.  Pretty good so far.  I finished Lena Dunham’s new book, Not that Kind of Girl on Audible last month and really enjoyed the book read to me by Lena herself. So, I thought I would try my next business book on Audible…so I chose #GirlBoss. I am more than half-way through the book and its pretty good.  Sophia Amoruso has a great success story to tell about persistence and hard work.   By all ‘normal’ standards, she should be homeless today but she’s running a very successful company with 350 employees and growing.

I would recommend you try this book on Audible, the narrator is not Amoruso but her voice is nice and steady.  I had a lot of dental work done recently so I listened to the book during my root canal.  The book held my attention through all that drilling!

Here’s what Amazon says: The first thing Sophia Amoruso sold online wasn’t fashion—it was a stolen book. She spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and dumpster diving. By twenty-two, she had resigned herself to employment, but was still broke, directionless, and working a mediocre day job she’d taken for the health insurance.

It was there that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. Eight years later, she is the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal, a $100 million plus online fashion retailer with more than 350 employees. Sophia’s never been a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is winding as all hell and lined with naysayers.

#GIRLBOSS includes Sophia’s story, yet is infinitely bigger than Sophia. It’s deeply personal yet universal. Filled with brazen wake-up calls (“You are not a special snowflake”), cunning and frank observations (“Failure is your invention”), and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise, #GIRLBOSS covers a lot of ground. It proves that being successful isn’t about how popular you were in high school or where you went to college (if you went to college). Rather, success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.

What I am Reading-October

BuPuJF0CUAAaqdaThis book really caught my attention from the subtitle: “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” That’s what I aim to do everyday…pursue less.  Less stress, less worry, less anger and less negativity.  This book is just what I needed.  It talks a lot about being stretched too thin, not being productive because of burnout and why it’s important to focus on the essentials.   As a wife, mom, daughter, friend, co-worker and manager, I feel stretched too thin on most days.  This book is about defining what is absolutely essential and what is not.  When you decide what is not…you eliminate it from your life.  Easy right?

Here’s what Amazon says about Essentialism:

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.

 

I am about halfway through the book and it’s a good read.  Short chapters, interesting use of graphics and fonts that keep the text moving along.  I would definitely recommend it if you are thinking about achieving more by doing less.

What I Am Reading-August

thrive-book-coverLately, I have been obsessing about simplifying my life, slowing down and being more intentional.  My good friend, Shelly Walters, told me about this book and I am so glad. Huffington totally gets it and she is sharing her experiences of running full speed ahead in the rat race and then slowing down and taking a new approach to her life.  I can’t put this book down and I feel like I am either dog-earing every page or highlighting a lot of text.

If you feel like your work life or personal life needs an adjustment, I think you will really like this book.  It makes me think of Taco Bell’s famous marekting campaign, “Fourth Meal.” Huffington introduces us to the Third Metric of success and it’s powerful stuff.

 

From Amazon: In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters — of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her “aha moment.” Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.

From the book:

My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me. Imam Al-Shafi’i (18th century Muslim jurist)

What I am Reading Now–July

index Business Without the Bullsh*t, 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know…this is my book for July.  A lot of good information in this book and it will be a book that I will keep close to my desk to use as a reference.  I plan to read it cover to cover but the author suggests that you can pick the book up and read a chapter when a question or issue arises.  It’s very well written and I like that at the end of each chapter James gives a summary of what was discussed in the chapter.  Another book I think would be good to have in hand to highlight pages but I also think I will download it to my iPad.

 

From Amazon:

In BUSINESS WITHOUT THE BULLSH*T, James explains how to clear the clutter from your work life so you can achieve real and lasting success. You’ll learn how to:

  •                     Earn the respect of your peers
  •                     Find and keep your dream job
  •                     Use layoffs to build your career
  •                     Give unforgettable presentations
  •                     Neutralize workplace bullies
  •                     Nail that all-important email
  •                     Achieve lasting career security

Full of the bluntest secrets from the most successful workers, BUSINESS WITHOUT THE BULLSH*T gives you the essence of what you need to know to achieve a successful and meaningful career in the business world.

What I’m Reading Now–June 2014

Year W/O PantsI learned about this book when my dad shared an article with me that Scott wrote.  I can’t put this book down.  Not only am I learning about the world of WordPress (where my blog lives!) and Automattic but I love Scott’s thoughts on managing teams.  There are a lot of great ideas in this book including, office culture examples, leadership roles and how to work with creative people.  He has a nice writing style and he holds nothing back about his first year at Automattic.

“Any manager who eliminates superfluous traditions takes a step toward progress.  If removing a restriction improves performance or has no impact on performance but improves morale, everyone wins.”  The Year Without Pants, Scott Berkun

It’s another book that I recommend buying the physical book so you can dog ear pages and highlight text!

What I’m Reading Now–May 2014

front-coverI’m about half way through ReWork by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson and I am really loving the messages inside.  This book is a quick read with short chapters but I suggest buying the physical book…you will want to highlight a lot of content.  I recommend this book for anyone needing a little kick start or a kick in the ass!

“Don’t let yourself off the hook with excuses.  It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.” –Fried & Hansson