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BellaOnline's Organization Editor

Organizing Success with the 50 Things Challenge

We're heading into to Week 4 of the 2009 Get Rid of 50 Things Challenge! (Missed the article with information on what the Challenge is and how to participate? See Related Links below to read it.) I've loved hearing feedback from many of you on the things you've weeded from your lives over the past few weeks (old medications and birdhouses and papers--oh my!), and was particularly blown away by a message I received from one reader, Rick D.

To say that Rick has taken this Challenge and run with it would be a bit of an understatement, so I'm going to let his words (used with his permission) describe what he's been inspired to clear out of his space and his life. Here's what he shared about his 50 Things Challenge experience.

"This 50 item challenge hit me and for some reason, I am on an incredible roll. It has improved my quality of life. Here is my progress so far, with more to go until June 14.

I have 3 email accounts: work, personal and subscriptions. Looking at hundreds of emails in each account is just depressing and defeating. The results [of my weeding]: reading, acting on and deleting more than 400 emails in my work account and archiving about 50. Personal email: there are only 6 left that are reminders for items this week. Subscription email: more than 500 and now 0!!!

Stuff at Home

"My Office--My Prison"
I have worked from my house for 19 years and I spend a whole lot of time in my office. As stuff piles up, it is discouraging and depressing, especially starting a day like that. So, at your suggestion, I tackled it over 2 weekends. Every paper must be read and dealt with, no pushing aside.


The Benefits
Soooo, you can't even measure how much I have done. It is incredible. My office looks great, I feel better walking in and out, and I will never have to clean up last minute for a party or someone who shows at the door. Somehow, you gave me the direction and I took it, and my life is better."

Wow! Rick's is the sort of story that makes me love being a professional organizer, because he proves that being organized isn't just about how things look, it's really about how things function.

Not everyone's experience with the 50 Things Challenge will be the same as Rick's, but I hope the results he's shared will inspire you to keep going with your version of the Challenge. This week, think about what you can get rid of that will let you be more effective at work and/or at home, find room for whatever is truly important to you, and clear out some mental clutter in the process.

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