December 1, 2012

Thinking Out of the Box

The TRUE meaning of thinking “out of the box”–for me– is to stop thinking. Start breathing. If you have a clutter, organizing, or hoarding issue, give your brain a vacation. Chances are you’ve been OVER thinking the problem, fretting perhaps. (By the way, people who call themselves hoarders usually aren’t.)

Worrying and obsessing how to work out a clutter problem by banging your head on (in this case) the inside wall of your box, doesn’t  work. There is no opportunity to get a real perspective on the issue. Our beautiful computer-like brains are most effective at problem-solving if there isn’t a lot of emotional attachment involved. One way I’ve learned to trick myself is to imagine an organized and compassionate friend is looking at the problem. How would he or she handle it? What would your friend say about hanging onto that ugly cracked coffee mug just because your long-departed relative drank out of it?

That’s where we often get into trouble–sentimentality. A little goes a long way. You don’t need to hang onto your grandmother’s muu-muus if you have no plan to wear them. (Yes, you could cut them up and make a patchwork quilt, but WILL you? What would that same friend say?)

If you’re really courageous, don’t imagine your friend, really ask him or her. You may be surprised. Even if you only imagine a conversation with the other person, you might hear something you never expected.Welcome to the world outside of the box!

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