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Soul Cleaning…

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I recently just went through a move and learned a few things that I thought I would share.

Prior to the move, I thought I had a great plan.  I ruthlessly got rid of stuff.  In the past six months, I probably downsized my physical posessions by about half.  Ebay and Craigslist became my best friends as I reduced the clutter and things that I didn’t want to move.

The end result is that I’ve been at the new place for 6 weeks and still have hundreds of unpacked boxes.  I unpacked the stuff that I use every day and left the rest in the attic.  Now that I’ve gone through all the trouble of packing things, I realize that I don’t have the need or gumption to unpack it.  Now I know what I REALLY need, and it’s quite a bit less than I ever thought possible.  It is going to be much easier to go through the rest and get rid of tons more stuff.

So a few lessons here.

  1. Even thought I thought I was being ruthless in my pre cleaning, I wasn’t nearly ruthless enough.
  2. The thought of getting rid of more stuff, actually makes me happy.  Decluttering my life is a wonderful prospect.
  3. Having less stuff in the way allows me to get more done.
  4. If I had an outside opinion, I would probably have been more strategic about what I kept.

So how can this apply to you and your current situation?  You don’t have to be facing a move to clean up.  Consider your digital pictures.  Do you have 10,000 old digital photographs?  Why not take the top 10% and save to a separate album and archive the rest.  I bet the archive will never be needed or looked at again, and the 10% will be looked at more often.  What if, while you were doing this review of photos, you had the help from a neutral friend who told you which pictures were worth keeping? I bet you would end up with a more concise group of pictures.  Why do you think many directors hire editors?  It’s hard to get rid of footage that may have an attachment.

I guess I’m trying to make the case that it’s good to have help.  I think many organizations are hesitatant to solicit an outside opinion either out of fear of knowing the truth, or the perception that paying for an opinion is not worth it.  I believe that peace of mind is priceless, and often profitable 🙂

What about you, any thoughts or opinions?  I’m sure there are many analogies that are worth hearing about.  Please post a comment!

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