Who are you?

Who are you? I mean, who are you today in the year 2011? I’m not trying to psychoanalyze you, I’m trying to help you reduce your clutter. “But what does having a clear knowledge of my identity have to do with papers and clothing and piles of stuff everywhere?” you ask as you bite into a delicious Boston cream donut. A lot, actually. Here, I’ll go first. I no longer play the violin. I played the violin in the 5th grade and it was awesome. OK, that’s a stretch, it was terrible and I hated it but the public demanded to hear my genius melodies! But that’s not who I am today at age 24 (cough) in the year 2011. What if I held onto that identity and insisted that I was still a prodigy violinist (which is a blatant lie)? I’d be surrounded by all the accessories that accompany my old identity: sheet music, violins, trophies from my award-winning tours through Long Island’s elementary schools. I wouldn’t have room for the current, true incarnation of Jeni Aron, professional organizer and owner of Clutter Cowgirl. My daily routine would involve digging around for my gym shoes underneath piles of letters from Yo-Yo Ma begging, pleading to be my special guest at some charity event. The next day I’d be searching for my gratitude journal amongst restrung bows and resin cubes. The point is, once you know and accept who you are in the present, you can begin to eliminate belongings that do not help you to excel as your current self. 
I had a client, let’s call her Busy Mom. Busy Mom used to be a hot shot in the advertising world. She ran to meetings, grabbed new clients before anyone else and kicked ass at her company. Today, Busy Mom has a kid and her days of chasing down key accounts are ten years in the past. But Busy Mom still owns at least fifteen pairs of Advertising World shoes which are jamming up her already cramped NYC closet. Fifteen pairs of old, worn out shoes that, despite their value in the past, do not serve her today as an amazing mom who goes to bat for her special-needs pre-teen. Busy Mom is holding on to the idea that she will return to her old life and wear her old shoes to kick old ass. I don’t poo-poo her dreams of returning to her old career. I do, however, doubt she’ll make an effective impression ten years later with rotted out shoes that went out of style at least a decade ago. Busy Mom is a different person and her old self made different decisions in a different point in style time. Without getting all Dr. Drew on her, I pointed out that if she does make a shift and does go back to her career, doesn’t she deserve an updated, confident wardrobe that will help her much more than these depressing Easy Spirits? Thankfully Busy Mom saw the light (after multiple sessions of denial and avoidance) and chucked all but one pair of her old shoes. She held onto the one pair as a reminder of what not to buy when going shopping. Case closed.
What old identity are you still holding onto? How does this affect your space and your day-to-day activities at home? Discuss!
With love, light and less clutter,

1 Comment »

  1. I like it! Good job as always. May you become a big corporate villain.

    Comment by barry jacknow — October 25, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

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