cluttered_by-sunilI’ve been doing a lot of organizing lately.  Of stuff. Physical stuff.

Clothes, papers, bathroom stuff, books, musical instruments, sheet music, furniture, tools, dishes, utensils, cookware, bedding, towels, office supplies, toys, food storage supplies, etc.


You name it, I’ve organized it.


I’ve always done this kind of thing for myself, especially since I have moved a couple of times over the past year. However, over the past few months I’ve done it for my girlfriend, my sisters and my mom too.  The process just kinda comes naturally to me and I enjoy it, so I tend to offer up my services quickly.


If you’ve seen any home organization shows, you know the process I’m talking about:

  1. Pick a room/space you want to clean up
  2. Do a quick sort of everything in the room (preferably removing it from the space) and decide what you want to Keep vs. Donate/Toss
  3. Create a vision for the now empty space: what function do you want the space to serve, how do you want to feel in the space, etc
  4. Do another sort of what you kept in the quick sort to make sure what you are keeping is aligned with the vision for the space
  5. Put what you keep back into the space in a way that will best serve your vision
  6. Stand back and admire your work and hope nothing else comes into your home that will screw it all up
Actually, step 6 ideally is to repeat a scaled down version of the process regularly so that stuff doesn’t just pile up all over again.

In doing this for my loved ones, I realized that this is what I do in my work life with myself and with my clients.


I have lots of ideas, lots of inputs, lots of requests for my time.  I have to have a way to capture all of them, sort through them and figure out what aligns with my life’s purpose and my vision for the year. If something makes the cut, I have to figure out how to implement that idea or request in my life.


I do the same things with my clients in ways big and small.


The process isn’t always as straight forward as organizing a physical space.  After all, the physical spaces we all work with are usually a defined size. When it comes to ideas and inputs, the possibilities are literally endless. And although we can connect a lot of emotional energy to a physical object which can make them hard to let go, ideas and inputs can also trigger emotional responses and road blocks.


Having said all that, the processes I use in coaching are not all that different than when I’m helping to organize a physical space. Whether I’m working with someone on a really specific problem or project or we are doing deep work around Purpose, Vision and Values, the process is pretty similar.


  1. We take an inventory of what’s on their mind
  2. We look at what’s working for them and what isn’t
  3. We create a vision for where they want to go and how they want to feel
  4. We do a double check of what’s working and what isn’t
  5. We create a plan to implement what we are keeping
  6. Repeat as needed.

If your brain is swimming with inputs and ideas, try treating it like a cluttered closet. Take everything out. Decide what you want to keep. Decide what you want to ditch. And put stuff back in a way that will make it functional again.

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