By Sunny Simon

It happens every January. A few weeks after packing the holiday decorations away, I develop an urge to streamline my life beginning with the clutter hiding behind the scenes. On the surface my home and office appear pristine and streamlined, but cabinets and closets hold a challenging assignment for an organizational expert.

Intent on never having to repeat the cycle again, I decided to find a once-and-for-all system. My strategy was to seek advice from the Japanese cleaning consultant, Marie Konda, dubbed the “guru of tidiness.” The author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has clients lined-up on a three month waiting list. I plunked down my $16.99 plus tax and dove into this New York Times best seller.

The book helped diagnose my problem. I seemed to possess a fear of letting go of certain items like books (my Kindle is probably on overload) and my nemesis, magazines. I confess to being a magazine maniac with subscriptions to everything from “Success” to “Eating Well.” Since I truly do not have the time to read them all, these periodicals fill my cabinets, closets and are probably lurking in boxes in the garage. And yes, no matter how much I think my wardrobe each season, I still have too many clothes.

Kondo professes “when we really delve into the reasons why we cannot let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future.” So I searched my soul and found nothing to fear. Then I launched a campaign to sort items into multiple containers for pitching and donating. Marie was 100% accurate about reducing what we own. Streamlining is essentially detoxing our home and the detox has a positive effect on our well-being.

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Where is your clutter? Is it in piles of reading material, or multiple pairs of shoes you never wear loitering in boxes beneath your bed? Still hanging on to that outdated blazer in your closet or the ugly sweater Aunt Sarah gave you for Christmas three years ago? What is this intense connection we have with material objects that serve no purpose?

Join me in this and experience a mental uplift. Let’s free up space in our offices, garages and psyches. I’m saying goodbye to Martha Stewart Living, July 2007. How about you throw out those sexy red stilettos that make your feet hurt within five minutes of wear? Put your surrounding environment in order. Choose to keep only what brings you joy. My new mantra is clear your space and clear your mind.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com

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