The Blog

The Synergy in Thoughts & Things; How and When To Let Go

balloons_opt-2As a Professional Organizer, I’m called upon to tour and evaluate your cluttered spaces. I’m in your closets and I’m in your intimate drawers.  I can see the physical overwhelm and implement manageable solutions. But what I cannot see, is what’s inside your head.  Your closets may be bulging but perhaps your brain is about to explode as well.

Thoughts and things go hand in hand, therefore the challenges and strategies of organizing them are very much the same too.  Here’s another way to assess them.

Consider your brain the “closet” that stores your thoughts. Take a look and ask yourself;

  • Is it crowded?
  • Is it disorganized?
  • Are you overwhelmed ?
  • Is it impeding on your productivity and life-balance?

What’s abundantly clear, is overabundance.  Whether it is physical clutter or mental clutter, too much is still too much.  Both can be paralyzing if you don’t routinely clear out these spaces.  The accumulation of outdated possessions is as much a burden as a brain full of to do’s or negative thoughts. When your life-balance is threatened, it’s the opportune time to consider purging.

Although the purging process of thoughts and things may look a little different, they both still need to be organized and managed.

Thoughts.  Write them down randomly as they emerge.  Out of the head and onto a piece of paper is a quality brain dump.  Think of it as a mind/body cleanse, like any healthy nutritional cleanse. Clean house and create space in the brain.

Sort and categorize your thoughts. Some thoughts might require an immediate call to action, others might be just an idea that needs to marinate, or perhaps it’s those nagging emotional road blocks that you’ve been avoiding. Beware that when left unattended, these thoughts tend to get lumped altogether in one big pot,  just like a messy junk drawer.  This causes the overwhelm to mount and that’s when the pounding headache emerges.  Recognize that all thoughts cannot be of equal importance. Everything can’t matter in the same way. Break them down and prioritize them.

Take a pause and look them over at another time. When you step away and revisit thoughts, your perspective may change. Give your brain a chance to process all that is on your mind. This will help segregate the minutia from the significant.

“Seeing” your thoughts on paper is a great way to really “look” at your brain, and even more-so,  a very effective method to organize it. A brain needs to be organized too.

Things.  Assessing the relevance of your things in your life today is the best measure to discern their value, and is an integral part of the letting go process. Faulty thinking can often interfere with this decision-making process so it’s always helpful to recruit an objective voice to talk it out.  This process is much more complex but inherently is guided by parameters of finite space. When your systems break down (or you don’t have any), it may be that “too much” is why you are losing control of your things. The less is more and use it or lose it principle will provide you with a life with less to manage.

As you see, thoughts and things are linked so closely and they typically slip and slide together.  Chances are that if your closets are overflowing and overabundant with clutter, your brain is experiencing similar chaos.  And vise versa, if your thoughts are jumbled, there’s a good chance that your spaces will reflect some evidence of disorganization.

So are your closets bursting at the seams? Does your head sometimes feel likes its going to explode? If you are overloaded with thoughts and things, try exercising that letting go muscle.  More room to breathe,  more life to live.

It may not be realistic to do a closet cleanse daily, but I would recommend a brain dump nightly at bedtime.  I promise you a more restful night’s sleep.  It really works. Would love to hear your thoughts about things.  What’s on your mind?


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Did You Show Up Today? When Punctuality is Irrelevant

tigerWe all have days like this, don’t we? It doesn’t even seem to matter if we are precisely on time.  In fact, it really has nothing to do with time at all. Punctuality is irrelevant. It’s more about whether we have mentally shown up to be present in that moment. The real question is, did you wake up with the eye of the tiger?

We feel this very deeply inside.  At the start of our day, we instantly know whether or not we’ve brought our “A” game.  No matter what we’ve got planned on the day’s agenda, if our head is cluttered with a myriad of thoughts, it will most likely impede on our focus, clarity, and concentration for the rest of the day.

We get to where we’re going, right?  But sometimes we just get our bodies there, and our minds are elsewhere.  

On those days, you might be doing one of these;  Sound familiar?

  • You find yourself looking down at your watch multiple times, and still not know what time it is. (true story, I confess I’ve done this many times).


  • Someone introduces themselves to you and you forget their name almost instantly.  You are in a conversation with someone, nodding and smiling, but you aren’t really hearing or understanding a word they are  saying. You try to pay attention but the information is just not computing.  You have difficulty connecting because you are distracted and therefore struggle to pay close attention.


  • You fumble for familiar words and tussle with routine thinking, while just yesterday, you were sharp as a tack. For me, it’s a day that I just don’t seem to click. I’m simply “off.” I refer to it as my “dumb” day, lol. Every now and then, my brain escapes. I accept the “me” that showed up that day and figure out a way to work with I’ve got.


Clearly, there is something to be said for “getting up on the wrong side of the bed.” Not every day is the same, nor is every day perfect. From one day to the next, and for a host of reasons (stress, sleep deprivation, illness, etc.), our moods shift and can easily throw us off our game.  It is unrealistic to think that we can be our best selves every single day, but we can do our best to workaround the day’s shortcomings.

It’s hard enough to sustain focus on a good day, but if we begin our day without it from the get go, we are going to really struggle. When we are mentally absent, we are emotionally and socially unavailable to ourselves and to others around us.  In a sense, we are in our own way.  Losing our mind/body connection will tend to “show up” in all spheres of our lives. It is impossible to be productive or even engaging when we feel “off.”

When we lose our mind/body connection, I often wonder if we are better off just staying home, rather than showing up without purpose or clarity. Ideally, if we could learn to compartmentalize our invading thoughts and place them on a shelf somewhere, maybe we could combat this “off-ness.”  Wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do was press a “reset” button to recover?

Or, perhaps we need to be a bit more realistic. Simply accept that we are merely human, not tigers. It’s hard to sustain ferocity every day of the week. We all aspire to be champions, but few can “roar” on a daily basis without a fight.

What are your secrets to “showing up?”  How do you maintain that mind/body connection? What steps do you take to recover your focus, should you lose it? Please join in this conversation. I would love to hear you roar.

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