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     Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Is your life full of things you should do, could do and would do if your life were somehow DIFFERENT? If you lost 10 pounds or made more money or had a better job or got organized? It's time to free yourself from those projects, objects, and dreams that just don’t fit into the PRESENT life you live. One of my favorite sayings is “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal.” You’ve got one shot at it and it shouldn’t be bogged down with unnecessary guilt.

Shoulda’s are the pressure you feel when you think you need to do something -- an OBLIGATION that causes you unnecessary guilt and anxiety. Generally, these aren't things we have to do to survive or succeed in this world -- the "shoulda's" that cause us the biggest problems in life are usually minor issues that get in the way of our living life the way we want to. While teaching an organizing workshop, a woman running two of her own successful businesses posed a question “I have a beautiful copper bundt cake pan that my mother gave me. I feel guilty that I haven't used it yet. What should I do with it?” My reply was simply “Do you want to bake a bundt cake?” She cared nothing for baking a bundt cake now or in the future -- but what she needed was PERMISSION to lose the “shoulda”. She gave away the bundt cake pan to a friend who loved baking. Amazing what a little permission can do for the soul.

Coulda’s are made up of all those POSSIBILITIES that hang in front of your face like a cloud of flies -- the million and one projects that you could do if you had unlimited time. The problem is, you don't have unlimited time. You have 24 hours in the day, like everyone else. So you have to focus on your priorities and let everything else go. Drop the could and its weight on your shoulders and revise your mental statement to say that you CHOOSE to...or choose not to. I personally have chosen to not take on any home décor projects that require me to make something from scratch. Before kids, no problem -- I loved to be crafty. But now, with two small children, a husband, and a business, I have chosen to invest my time somewhere else. So I purchase ready-made items and spend the time I would have put into that project with my family. You have to make your own choices -- but once you decide on a path, clear out everything that gets in your way.

Woulda’s are the times you say "I would USE this if…". Many homes are cluttered with objects that you are saving for when you redecorate, or when you lose weight, or when the kids are grown -- some other life that you don’t currently lead. The key, again, to overcoming this stumbling block is to live in the PRESENT and only keep those things that enrich your life right now. It took me a while to part with the past and the future, but I learned that focusing on "someday" kept me from enjoying now. I also found that making sure my lovelies had wonderful new homes was the key. I had some colorful little plates I bought while in Puerto Vallarta that just did not fit my current home décor -- but my single girlfriend loved them. And the local women's shelter has gotten plenty of use out of those clothes that I would wear if I just dropped a few pounds. Whew! What relief to live in the present.

As your personal organizer, I give you PERMISSION to lose the shoulda, coulda, woulda in your life. It’s not a dress rehearsal.


Krista Colvin is the owner of Organize In Style, a professional organizing company. Krista focuses on creating spaces that function and look fabulous. She specializes in working with women that are starting their own business ventures and need to organize their home, office, and family. Visit her website at www.organizeinstyle.com or contact her at .

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