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Blog: Designing Your Life From The Inside Out
Change your Mind

Yesterday I got a call from a prospective client who moved from a cluttered 2-bedroom NYC apartment into a 1-bedroom and is not only facing obvious space constraints, but is also being confronted with her attachment to things that she knows she is going to have to part with in order to function in her new apartment. She wants change but resistance is there too.

I myself am a minimalist. I am continually reducing my space to its necessary elements. I like defined edges and space between things. I like unused space . . . it gives me a sense of tranquility. It also gives me a feeling of possibility . . . like there is room for something to happen. I love to inspire clients to get rid of stuff so that they can taste the joy that the lightness of an uncluttered space produces. Clients have said they "feel ten pounds lighter" after we've worked together.

Sometimes with new clients I feel like a nurse with a big needle saying, "this won't hurt a bit." I know in the end they will feel amazing, but it's getting them to take the first steps in letting go of stuff . . . to 'take the needle' so to speak. Its one thing to identify behaviors that need to change, but quite another to actually change them.

In order to change a behavior, mindset has to change too. It's like dieting. If you try to change your behavior around food . . . I can't eat chocolate, I can't eat bread, butter, cheese, icecream, Oreos, can't, can't, can't . . . then its deprivation and all you can think about are the Oreos. But if instead, you change your mindset from, "I need to lose weight" to "I am committed to being healthy and taking good care of myself," then the decisions that you make around food become different and it isn't about deprivation, but rather you making a series of empowered choices.

So too with a cluttered apartment. Instead of viewing getting rid of stuff as a loss, you have to flip your mindset around to what is being gained. The dialogue then becomes, "by getting rid of this, I am making space in my life for . . . (fill in the blank)." What do you want? Clarity? Creativity? To be able to entertain at home? To make more money? To find a partner? Change your mind to empower yourself to get what you want. And in the meantime, check out Zen Habits for a little inspiration and Roger Mursick's own take on "stuff."

posted on: 10/14/2007 12:00:00 PM by Stacey Platt
category: The Mental Side

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Designing Your Life From The Inside Out

by Stacey Platt

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About Stacey:

With an M.B.A. from NYU's Stern School of Business as well as a 12-year daily yoga practice and 6 trips to India, Stacey brings a unique mix of attributes to her profession. As an organization consultant, Stacey is dedicated to helping clients with all aspects of home and office organizing including compassionate clutter reduction and painless paper management. As a coach, Stacey partners with clients to produce positive results, both personally and professionally, in order to create purposeful, fulfilling and extraordinary lives.

Stacey's Website:


check out . . .

  • Apartment Therapy
  • Soul Jerky
  • Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute
  • Nirodhah
  • Flavorpill
  • The Lazy Environmentalist
  • Green Drinks

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