Clear the clutter to make room for your next marketing idea

Every so often, I meet a business owner or communicator who says they intend to (fill in the blank): start blogging…record a YouTube video…volunteer for a committee…begin email marketing.  But for some reason or another, they just don’t.

And they don’t look happy about that!  I think that’s just terrible.  I would feel awful if I really wanted to do something but felt so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even attempt it.

Could the problem be clutter?

Think about the clutter in your life.  There is physical clutter — junk mail, for example. And digital clutter — such as SPAM.

There are time-eaters and ankle-biters.  Little things you have to get done — or think you have to do — before you can tackle the meat and potatoes of your business, such as developing a marketing plan, planning out an editorial calendar, or hiring a consultant.

With all the smart gadgets we have, I feel like we are more busy and less efficient than we were 20 years ago, in some ways.   Worst of all, when we’re overwhelmed by the clutter of our lives, we become sapped of the energy we need to be creative and proactive.

Everybody gets in a rut, myself included.  What I do is focus on what I can change.  My prescription is to take a few hours and bust some clutter.  Maybe you can’t change all the demands on your time, but you can get together a few bags for the trash bin or Goodwill.

Clutter-busting is very freeing. I find that not only after I have cleared out a bit, but also during the process, I get all kinds of good ideas.

Instead of worrying so much about what you aren’t accomplishing, why not take a morning or  afternoon this month, put on your favorite tunes, and and bust your clutter.  You may be surprised at how taking some time to clean and organize your desk and other areas of your home or workplace allows you to think more clearly and make decisions more easily.  At the very least, you will surely feel a sense of accomplishment, which is always empowering.

Clutter-Bust the Bathroom

Get a big garbage bag and go through your medicine cabinets and throw out all your prescriptions and expired OTC medicines.  Throw out all your makeup that is older than a year, old sunscreen, and moisturizers.  While you are at it, throw out your toothbrush and get a new one!  I just did this and couldn’t believe I filled a whole trash bag full of stuff I never use.  I couldn’t believe I had all that junk!

Clutter-Bust the Kitchen

The fridge is easy…just get rid of any expired food, or food you really won’t ever eat (like my jar of Harissa!).  The rest of your kitchen might be harder.  Ditch the plates you never really liked, the worn out pots.  Organize your spice cabinet.  I just did.  I realized I had four cans of baking powder.  But no bay leaf.  Getting organized is helping me be a better cook, because now I can find what I need!

Clutter-Bust Your Bedroom

A doctor told me if you want to cure insomnia, you should only use your bedroom for sleeping, getting dressed, and romance.  So if you have a TV or books in there, I would consider removing them. Certainly remove anything work-related.

Get rid of any pillows that need replacing (you should replace at least every few years), as well as old sheets, blankets, and towels that you just don’t like anymore.

If you donate at least half of the stuff in your closet, you’ll probably be on the right track.  Go through your closet and ruthlessly purge anything that doesn’t fit, or that you haven’t worn in a couple of years, or that is dowdy.  If you haven’t done this in a while, expect to fill many bags — and also to look at yourself and your clothes in a whole new way!  Anything that is more than a few years old should just be given away, anyway, as well as any item that you don’t feel fantastic in while wearing.  You will not miss these clothes; I promise.  Don’t forget coats, bags, luggage, shoes, and accessories.  Bag it up, and take it to GoodWill.  Sure, you could sell it on eBay or hold onto it for friends, etc.  But then it will still hang around your house,  and you’d just be adding another ‘to-do’ to your already over-loaded list.  Trust me.  Forget yard sales.  Give it to Goodwill.   You will feel so much lighter afterwards.

By this point, you should be feeling pretty darn proud of yourself.  Now that the physical clutter in your life has been decreased to a manageable point, you’ll be better able to look at the other time-eaters that are preventing you from doing the things for your business that you really want to do.


About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.

Posted on January 31, 2011, in Marketing Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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