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Clutter Clearing and Life School

Clutter Clearing and Life School

In my last post I mentioned taking a look at how clutter clearing might relate to Life School.

So what does ‘Life School’ mean?Schoolhouse

Think of it as the water in which you’re swimming, the filter through which you see and experience the world. In his book, Lifeprints, Richard Unger describes Life School as “…a soul-level initiation, a life-scale training program that works its way into every corner of your life.” He relates the four schools to four themes of human development:

  • Feeling safe in your body (School of Peace)
  • Development of awareness and intellect (School of Wisdom)
  • Recognition of heart and empathy (School of Love)
  • Inclination to serve others (School of Service)

All of us are challenged to grow in each of these four areas, but your fingerprint patterns reveal which one or two of these need more attention.

Looking at clutter clearing through the lens of Life School helped me to see what my challenges would likely be. I have two Life Schools—Wisdom and Love. A big lesson in the School of Wisdom is learning to make decisions. Wisdom folks want to be right, want to have lots of options all the time, and use the ‘need’ for more and more information as an excuse to avoid that leap off the diving board. So I realize that the pressure to make the ‘right decision’ when it comes to clearing my clutter makes it difficult to decide to let things go.

In the School of Love, the main lesson is emotional authenticity—learning to feel what I’m really feeling and expressing it appropriately, so I can have warm, sincere connections with others. Those loving connections can make it hard for me to let go of items that people I care about have given me. It feels as though giving away that godawful swirly candy dish means rejecting the person who gave it to me (a person I love very much).

This awareness of the pitfalls inherent in my Life Schools is a good example of that old saying, “Forewarned is forearmed.” By knowing the challenges that will prove most difficult for me, I can look ahead and seek solutions to those specific issues.

And, as I mentioned in my last post on downsizing, our KMI Master Mind, The 10 C’s of Creative Clutter Clearing, is coming up. If working with a group on this sometimes sticky issue would be helpful for you, please contact me and I’ll send you the details!



For quite a while now, I’ve been thinking about downsizing.

Clutter has always been a bit of a challenge for me. My home isn’t overrun with items covering every available surface. That said, the closets, shelves and drawers that were empty when we moved to this house 28 years ago have managed to attract enough stuff to more than fill them (and we’ve added a considerable number of storage spaces along the way).

So I began to explore different methods of dealing with my possessions. The KonMari clutter cartoonmethod, which is very popular right now, tells me to put every item I own of a specific type in a pile on the floor, then pick up each item and ask myself if the item gives me joy. If the answer is “yes,” the item is a keeper. If the answer is “no,” it goes into a garbage bag for removal from my space.

Based on Amazon reviews of the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, the method works amazingly well for the many who have used it.

That said, just the thought of pulling every item of clothing I own out of closets and drawers feels crushingly overwhelming. It literally stops me in my tracks. So I investigated a number of other clutter clearing/downsizing methodologies. During this investigation, one truth stood out—it’s not really about the stuff. It’s about my own mindset, my own habit patterns, and the way I work best.

This led me to think about how my clutter clearing might relate to my Life School, and how I would most naturally work towards the downsizing goal in a way that would be effective, rather than overwhelming, for me. I’ll be exploring those ideas in a little more detail in an upcoming post.

But for right now, one thing I know is that (even though I’m an introvert) I am much more inclined to tackle a challenging task if I have real, live support around me. And that led to a conversation with my business partner, Mary McDowall, a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, and one of the creators of the KMI Master Mind. I’m a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, too, as well as a newly-minted KMI Master Mind facilitator (yet another story for another day).

And this radical idea took shape:

Rather than creating yet another course or writing yet another book about clutter clearing, why not approach the challenge from the perspective of a creative masterminding circle? Using a format that allows me to combine the concept of Kaizen* with the creative spark and support of a group of women who are also downsizing?

So—Mary and I are busily putting the finishing touches on The 10 C’s of Creative Clutter Clearing.

Stay tuned!


*Kaizen: Breaking huge, overwhelming tasks down into very small steps