Organizing Information

Secrets to Eliminating Emotional Clutter

Are you plagued by clutter in your personal or professional life? Is there someone in your family or your work who is? Based on my experience, the answer is probably "Yes!"

As a professional organizing consultant for more than 20 years, I have discovered that eight out of ten people are bogged down in life with physical clutter somewhere in their lives. Ironically, most of them suffer in silence. In many cases, you would never know it just by seeing them, or even working with them, because they are frequently some of the smartest and most successful people in the world. In far more cases than most people believe, the clutter actually drives them to do or not to do the very things they want most or want not to do. In some cases, it causes emotional paralysis, even mental illness. The only thing stronger that their desire to get of the clutter is their desire to hang on to it, and a vicious cycle results.

My consulting business has been built on the concept "Clutter is Postponed Decisions®." In the beginning, I was referring to the physical clutter that plagues so many people in our increasingly materialist society. When I began to explore this issue, it became evident that the physical clutter was an outgrowth of another kind of clutter: emotional clutter - internal beliefs that control our behavior and our results.

If I just get organized, I will be able to do it all. I, or someone else I know, might need it someday If I keep it long enough, I can justify the fact that I bought it. I can't get rid of it because someone else gave it to me.

You can keep everything you want if you are willing to pay the price: time, space, money, and energy.

It suddenly occurred to me that decision-making about our emotional environment is just as important as decision-making about our physical environment. Deciding what thoughts to keep determine whether we just "keep on keeping on" or learn from our experiences, move on to even better things, and help others to learn by our example.

I once interviewed an extremely talented and prolific painter in her home studio. It was filled with beautiful paintings. "Do you ever like something you create so much that you can't let go of it," I asked. "On, no," she immediately responded. "I have to. Otherwise nothing new would come."

© Barbara Hemphill is the author of Kiplinger's Taming the Paper Tiger at Work and Taming the Paper Tiger at Home and co-author of Love It or Lose It: Living Clutter-Free Forever. The mission of Hemphill Productivity Institute is to help individuals and organizations create and sustain a productive environment so they can accomplish their work and enjoy their lives. We do this by organizing space, information, and time. We can be reached at 800-427-0237 or at

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

NH Primary Source: New NHGOP executive director says attracting, organizing millennials key to 2018 strategy
WMUR Manchester
NEW NHGOP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. An experienced political organizer who knows New Hampshire well has been tapped to be the new executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party. After a six-week search, NHGOP Chair Jeanie Forrester introduced Todd ...

and more »

National Republicans focus on organizing in Nevada - Nevada Appeal
Nevada Appeal
The Republican National Committee has landed in Nevada and is beginning a major push to build support for the party ahead of the 2018 elections. Dan Coats, the RNC's Nevada State Director, said they've had field staff "on the ground since June ...

and more »


Honor King by organizing and mobilizing
The Philadelphia Tribune
Yesterday Americans across the country celebrated the birthday of slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., through bell-ringing, music and volunteer efforts everywhere from schools to homeless shelters. These are all good ways to honor King ...
Ashland Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s LegacyKDRV
Murphy's MLK Day of Service at Homeless SolutionsParsippany Focus
Community Celebrates King's LegacyAlameda Sun
Binghamton University Pipe Dream
all 5,280 news articles »

Cleveland Jewish News

Consider organizing finances before filing taxes
Cleveland Jewish News
Tax season is upon us and according to financial advisers and tax preparers, now is the time to organize your assets for 2017 and to begin thinking about 2018. Cindy Kula, senior supervisor in the tax department at WalthallRea CPAs in Cleveland ...

Mintpress News (blog)

David North, Chris Hedges and WSWS.Org on Organizing Against Internet Censorship
Mintpress News (blog)
... Web Site and national chairperson of the Socialist Equality Party (US). His published works include A Quarter-Century of War: The US Drive for Global Hegemony; The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century; The Frankfurt School ...

Organizing Puerto Rican Voters In Florida
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo RossellĂł is holding a town meeting with his constituents who are now living in Kissimmee, Fla. RossellĂł says they are a powerful voting bloc that can help out Puerto Rico. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Puerto Rico's Governor Rossello held ...

and more »


Dear Organizing Coach: How Can I Keep On Top of All These Piles?
“We need strategies for organizing and processing paper of all sorts. Bills, charity solicitations, insurance documents, financial papers…” — Margo. “Each week, a pile of paper and other items about six inches high accumulates on my kitchen table. I ...

Beyond Chron

Why a Successful Union Organizer Thinks Traditional Organizing Is a Lost Cause
Beyond Chron
In the 1990s, he was a key player in the Service Employees International Union winning the right to represent some 74,000 home care aides in Los Angeles—the largest union organizing campaign since the 1940s. In his present post, as president of SEIU ...

Armenian Weekly

MacArthur Fellow Greg Asbed on the Power of Organizing in Immigrant Communities
Armenian Weekly
Many of us would like to believe that the power to change the world lies in the hands of consumers—but does it actually? That's a question I posed recently to Greg Asbed, a recent recipient of the highly coveted MacArthur Fellowship—the so-called ...

Activists take initiative in organizing community peace events in eastern region
JALALABAD - The full participation of women in all aspects of peace-building was stressed by participants at a series of UN-backed symposiums in Afghanistan's eastern region last year, leading to several activists taking the initiative to set up their ...

Google News

home | site map
© 2007