Have you been Kondofied? Originating from writer Marie Kondo, a career organizer, it means to purge everything in your life that does not spark joy in you.
I’m about ready to surrender. But it sure is hard to let go. ANGST What is it I’m clutching? Paper. I’ve got a huge file cabinet filed with folders for every voiceover project I’ve ever had, every client I’ve ever served, with scripts, notes, invoices, and pay stubs. Not only do I feel a sense of maternal pride and protectiveness (these are my babies who I tended to after all), but I also appreciate having resources to refer to when clients come back to me weeks, months, or sometimes years later, to work together again.
And there’s the wonderful feeling of flipping through the files and being reminded of people and projects that have dotted my career. It’s like looking through an album of photographs, something fundamentally gratifying, versus the scanning we do of tens of thousands of photos when looking for that one image we’re trying to get our hands on.
Over the years (I’ve been at this for 15 now), I have culled the folders, tossing thousands of pages of eLearning scripts, medical narrations, and audiobooks, but there are some projects I can’t seem to cast aside— like the many museum audio tours I’ve voiced. But here’s the good news. I’m willing to try. So I’m conferring with colleagues who have blazed the trail before me, cut ties with paper, and forged digital systems for managing their businesses.
I’ll keep you posted on how I do. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.
April 25, 2019
As if providence knew that I had taken on the challenge to clean up my act, two books came into my life: Organized Enough by Amanda Sullivan, and Outer Order, Inner Calm, by Gretchen Ruben. They both spoke to me in meaningful ways and made me think about my behavior in various areas of my life: work, home, and travel.
Here are some of the key ideas that resonated with me:
Forgive yourself for accumulating all the stuff— clothes, files, your kids’ artwork from the time they were old enough to hold a crayon, magazines, digital files, conference swag, travel moments, business cards, emails, etc. Let go of anything you don’t need, haven’t used, doesn’t fit, or you have multiples of and doesn’t really serve you. Organize what’s left.
Weed out on a consistent basis since it’s easier for things to come into our homes/computers than it is to throw them out. And here’s an interesting question to ask yourself as you sift through your items:
Is this me now, or is this who I was in the past, or who I hope to be in the future? As I asked myself this question throughout the day over the past couple of months, it seemed I have a ton of things to let go of everywhere in my life.
I started with my emails. Since I had to change hosts from Go Daddy to G Suite, it only made sense to clean up as many unwanted emails as I could before porting them over to the new platform. If you’re moving from one house to another, who needs to pack up and schlep unwanted things? So I, rather aggressively, got rid of lots of emails from the past decade.
I scanned them in blocks of 500 to isolate any that seemed important, and I’m sure some slipped through the cracks, but I feel lighter for having done it. Sadly, I can’t delete new ones as fast as they come in, but I’m trying.
I don’t know where the term “clothes horse” comes from, but I have way more than I need and many items waiting for me to lose 5 pounds so they can fit again. I’ve always donated clothing to Good Will and the Salvation Army over the years, but I’m being more aggressive (and honest) about what I just don’t want to wear and need to get rid of. Some of the items are beautifully made, and I’ve started giving to family and friends— with great success! They’re happy, I’m thrilled and the clothes have found new loving owners (so I assume they are happy too).
Who Doesn’t Love Swag?
Everybody loves free stuff. Makeup samples, conference bags, branded coffee cups and water bottles, you name it. Here’s a radical thought: If you wouldn’t pay for it, don’t take it. Let me tell you, I’ve started asking myself that question and the answer has me saying “Thank you, no thank you,” a lot more often. And you know what? It feels good!
Does that shirt from 10 years ago that you rarely wear (because it doesn’t fit, has a little stain, or is out of style) reflect who you are today, or is it something you hope to someday fit your body and your life? Does that check stub from a project you completed years ago have any importance to you now?
May 13, 2019
As I am sorting, sifting, and selecting, there’s an “Incredible Lightness of Being” that I feel. Letting go seemed scary, and sometimes still does, but afterward I don’t feel a sense of loss. It’s good fuel to keep me on this path, which is taking a lot longer than I thought or hoped it would. I remind myself, little steps, big victory, and don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough.
June 9, 2019
- What’s still left to do?
- More email tossing
- More file tossing
- More clothes donating
- More book thinning
- More dead shrub removing