Your Mess Doesn't Scare Valerie Cady

No. Not even yours.

What’s scares Valerie are the unhelpful stories people tell themselves about being an unorganized person. They almost always begin with “I can’t,” and those are very un-Box Lunch Lifestyle words.

Valerie thinks we CAN clear the clutter that may be holding us back, and encourages taking an honest look at the space on our desks or workstations. What surrounds us so much of the day has a huge impact on our mental state. Maybe “mess” works for you, but if it doesn’t, Valerie thinks we can trade any helpless or guilty feelings about our messy spaces for undistracted brains ready to pursue our quiet dreams.

Here are just a few tips from Valeries that you can do in a jiffy:

  • look at what lurks around your workspace (40+ Post-it notes? 10 years worth of filth?) and, if you want, change it using 3-D Vision: Declutter, Dust and Decorate

  • purge your briefcase by dumping everything out and putting back only the things that belong there

  • get rid of three unused items from your desk drawer (You will NOT miss them.)

  • wrangle any Post-its® with passwords on them into her (FREE) Password Log, or commit to a password manager service

  • book a time to start rewriting your “I’m not an organized person” story, or register for a class if you’re nearby

Valerie is a friend, but I don’t promote her work because there’s something in it for me money-wise. (There isn’t.) What’s important to me is that you tell yourself a new story—if you need one—about being an organized person if that’s what stands between you and your quiet dreams. It’s prep work, just like putting new strings on the ukulele before you can start playing again, or cutting up carrot sticks. You can build a space around you that fosters feeling more like the person you want to be.

So don’t let clutter dampen your motivation, and don’t let it become a “I’ll just file this before I do [insert quiet-dream pursuit here]” distraction, either. You don’t have to be Marie Kondo to win. What makes Valerie so good at what she does is reminding us that, when you get to the heart of it, decluttering is about making the things you can simple, personal, and meaningful. Like a better lunch. It’s part of the self-kindness that helps keep us moving forward to bigger—and better—things.