Are You Ready for New Paper Habits?

“When I get stressed, I just drop stuff on my desk! And, then it gets like this!” My client and I looked at her small desk piled about six inches high with a wild assortment of paper. She was upset with herself and I was excited for her. It often takes getting to the point where you “can’t stand it any more” to be ready to make a real change in your behavior that will result in real change in your space. I love it when clients get there.

Sometimes it takes years for a client to get ready to change the behaviors that are causing their physical mess, as it did with this client. Her busyness with family and work had distracted her from focusing on what she was doing to create her own nightmare. I’d come back to help her clear paper from time to time. Each time she’d lament that we always worked on paper when she’d really rather have me help her in other areas of her house. I initially told her what it would take to move on, but she wasn’t ready to hear my suggestions and take a good look at her habits. So, I waited. I’ve learned to wait for that wonderful moment of angst that is the sign that the client can hear my recommendations and is ready to commit to changing behavior.

By the time I left that day my client had committed to stop dropping paper on her desk in a messy pile. If paper cannot be processed immediately, it will be stacked neatly on one side of her desk. She also had agreed to take five minutes a day to sort paper Monday through Saturday, the days that she gets mail, no matter how stressed she feels. What she really was agreeing to do was to get conscious about what she does with paper and to be intentional about her behavior with paper.

Are you fed up with the mess you create by not taking the paper challenge by the horns? Have you reached the “I can’t stand it any more” point when change is possible? Identify what you do to create your paper nightmare. Then change that behavior to something that works better, like taking five minutes a day to sort mail. Take charge of paper! And watch you space and your feelings about yourself change for the better!

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner, Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in life. If you’re ready to clear clutter and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at

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