To paraphrase William Morris…

I’ve just moved offices this week. Again. I think it’s the fourteenth time I’ve moved desks in this company – but they say that a change is as good as a rest so I should be feeling pretty rested soon and I must say that I’m very happy with my new location.

Whether it’s a desk move or a house move, relocating gives us the opportunity to evaluate what it is that we’re carrying around with us. I have noticed that I am happier and more effective when I have an ordered environment. Am I unusual? I don’t think so: lots of friends and colleagues report that clearing clutter creates calm.

If an untidy desk, over-stuffed spare room or filing cabinets which can barely be closed have a detrimental impact on our happiness and effectiveness, why don’t we do something about it?

Here are some of the things I say to myself about my stuff:

  • I’d forgotten I had this!
  • If I get rid of that document, someone will ask me if I’ve still got a copy – better hold on to it.
  • That might fit one day!
  • I’m just too busy to tidy my desk.
  • I wondered where that had gone! Now, where shall I put it?
  • Clearing out my stuff brings back too many memories: I can’t deal with that at the moment.
  • This is really useful – not for me, but I’m sure it will come in handy for someone.
  • It was a gift: I can’t get rid of it.

Do you recognise any of those? Have I missed anything? Of course, we carry around too much stuff in our minds too sometimes: I wrote about how to clear mental clutter here.

As I unpack my crates and arrange my desk, I’m paraphrasing William Morris to help me make decisions about what I really need:

“Have nothing on your desk that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

Today’s pebble for your thoughts:

Do you need to dispose of anything which ‘you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’?

What do you think?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we can work together?

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