Rita Emmett's July Tip Sheet

From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
A Handbook for the Overworked,
Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed


There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

All beginnings are difficult -- Jewish proverb sent to me by Harry Pearle

Do not weep for what is lost, rejoice for what you have been given. -- Anonymous

If you haven't used it in a year, it can't be too vital to your lifestyle -- Rita Emmett


Message from Rita

Will You Leave a Legacy of Clutter?

For the past ten weeks I have been immersed in dealing with my cousins Mike's life's possessions. Mike died swiftly, unexpectedly, heartbreakingly at age 60. His only living relatives are his mom, who is in a nursing home, and me.

In the midst of loss and grief, I am clearing out his home (his life) so we can sell his house and give the profits to his mom.

Mike was organized and kept a clean, clutter-free house, but it's the hidden stuff that is overwhelming me. The papers (oh, the papers) and the garage (oh, the garage), and the basement (oh, the basement) and his workshop (how many power drills does one man need??) and the decisions (oh , the decisions)

As Bruce, our kids, a few of Mike's friends and I are digging through his stacks of stuff, we are all questioning what we ourselves are hanging on to and what a mess it would be for someone to have to clear out our homes should we suddenly leave this planet.

One of his friends said, "Will I be leaving a legacy of clutter??"

Even though my house is clutter-free, I have stuff... way too much stuff ... that doesn't show. For example, my files. As a speaker and an author, I have been collecting notes and articles forever. After I'm gone, they would play a big Crazy-Making part in sending someone over the edge.

And I think most of what I'm hanging on to started when I was into "Scarcity Thinking" (If I ever need this info, it's scarce and will be hard to find, so I better keep this article). Whereas now I'm striving for "Abundance Thinking". (If I ever need this info, it will be abundant and easy to find.)

So I started clutter-busting my files.
My plan was to grab three files at a time and go through them during commercials while watching TV. But I get easily bored with TV shows (I'll bet that doesn't surprise you. You probably do, too.). So then I started going through files during the boring times of TV shows and there was so much boredom that I ended up getting a TON of files done in two evenings.

I keep a tray for "used" papers on my desk. When only one side has print on it, I use the other side for not-so-important copies such as a list, a note to myself, or when I run off a print of an electronic write-up such as my draft of this Tip Sheet. Why use a fresh sheet of paper when I don't need to? Maybe I'm not saving a whole tree, but I might be saving a twig and if enough of us do that, we could save a forest.

So as I go through my files, I put the majority of the papers either in my tray to be re-used, or in the recycle bin. So far, I've emptied a whole drawer and at the rate I'm going, I might be able to eliminate a whole file cabinet from my office it will make the place look larger, more open. less jammed. Meantime, I now have empty file-drawer space to store all the paperwork I have to handle for both Mike and his mom.

What are you hanging on to that you know you'll never need? Not just in your basement, garage or attic. How about your medicine cabinet, your closet, your bookcase or your desk drawers?

Why not get rid of some of it now so your space (AND your life) can feel less jammed? And God forbid that you should die suddenly but if you did, do you really want people rummaging through all that? Would they know what is important and what isn't?

Right now, select one area of accumulated stuff that you want to sort and get rid of. Then spend just 15 minutes a day on it and in no time, you'll have discovered some hidden treasures. Plus you'll have clear space where clutter used to be. NOW is the time to start. Have fun!



Rita, you are the best. We just received your DVD yesterday and I put it right in. I realized where the cute picture of the bee came from with the directions of how to take the Sting out of procrastination. You are amazing and today we have taken so much paper clutter out of our office. Had a cancellation so I said, let's tackle it and we are. Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Keep it up!!
Much, much and even more appreciation!!
Anne Holdaway

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Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed
2331 Eastview
Des Plaines, IL 60018


No trees were destroyed in the sending of this message,
but a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.