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Extra Organizing Tips: Monica Ricci

A Mission: Organization expert explains the meaning behind life's clutter.

What's It All Mean?
A New Perspective on the Stuff in Your Life

Professional organizer and Mission: Organization guest Monica Ricci offers web-exclusive tips.

On the surface, organizing is about time, space, money and stuff. Underneath, it's about inner clarity, strength and the choices we make every day.

When life is disorganized and complicated on the outside, very often it's a reflection of what's going on inside a person ... a barometer of sorts. Bottom line is that people are different, circumstances are different, and while I certainly don't claim to know it all, there is one thing I do know: Stuff is just stuff.

Like an anchor to the past, your stuff holds you in its grip, never letting you fully look to the future to what could be. Instead it forces you to look at, and to live among what was, what might have been, or what will never be. Stuff is not love, it's not anger, it's not sadness or grief. It's not happy or sad, it's not good or bad. It has no feelings or thoughts, it can't laugh with you or cry with you, and it doesn't get hurt when you throw it against the wall in frustration. It's not your friend or your enemy. It holds no opinions or grudges or judgments.

Your stuff is just like everyone else's. It's paper and ink and plastic. It's smooth or rough, soft or solid, it's glass and wood and leather. It's colored fabric and wax and metal and stone. It means nothing but what you tell it to mean. In this very fact lies freedom because what you tell yourself that your stuff means will either free you from its chains or enslave you.

I challenge you to change the way you think about your stuff. Take a good look around with new eyes. Look at your paper and ink and plastic and wood, and know that no matter what you tell yourself, stuff isn't anything but stuff. So keep in your life only what is truly special, useful or meaningful, and free the rest to benefit someone else.

When you free yourself of stuff, time commitments and all other things no longer valuable, you are then free to pursue the things you enjoy, spend time with those you love, find what feeds your soul and gives you purpose.

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