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Clean Slates

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Do you ever get to a place in your life or business when you just need to clear the decks, start fresh, clean the slate?

Maybe it starts with the long-awaited end of a project, a move, or even the reorganizing of a closet or the rearranging of a room.

For me, it started with the re-installation of my laptop’s operating system. Simple, right? But fifteen minutes into the process, I felt relief, “Thank goodness this thing will finally work as it should.” I immediately wanted to re-install the operating system on my desktop computer as well, just to have a completely blank canvas to work on; how nice it would be to have both my computers functioning like they were new again.

I started thinking about clean slates. Imagine if you could make every part of your life feel new again.

Maybe you get back to exercising and eating better every day. Maybe you eliminate your debt and cut all the fat from your spending. Maybe you move to a place you’ve been thinking about or paint your office that bold color that always catches your eye.

Sometimes we need to hit the reset button on our lives, not to forget or undo where we’ve been or what we’ve done, but to get a new lease on life, a new perspective, or a breath of fresh air that’s just enough to motivate us to live our lives and run our businesses in a better way.

Spring is just around the corner, and what better time to make a little room to clean a few slates?

Start in the Most Obvious Places

For me, that was my laptop. I had been aggravated with its performance for several months and had gotten to where I rarely used it, because it was too slow. That meant I was bound to a desktop, which seems crazy to me as a web worker.

There are other obvious areas that need my attention, too. My desktop computer is probably next, as well as my archaic filing cabinet that’s filled with junk I don’t need or even use. In fact, I could almost take the entire thing to the curb to go out with next week’s garbage, yet I keep it, and it’s just another reminder of the various canvases and slates that need to be cleaned in my life and business.

Be Inspired to Keep Going

As you clean out one area, a junk drawer or your desk, you’ll most assuredly think of other areas that need your attention. Don’t feel like you have to tackle it all in one day or weekend. Maybe set aside two or three hours every Saturday or Sunday for as long as it takes to get to the bottom of it all. How motivating could that be to think, “What will I tackle next? What will be the next clean slate in my life?”

And, you know, it doesn’t have to stop with junk drawers and computers. You might need to clean up some relationships in your life. Maybe you don’t call your mom or siblings or best friend as much as you’d like and could make some time to make those relationships stronger. Then again, you might need to tackle your health, spirituality, or areas within your business.

So often, we become hoarders, hanging on to all kinds of clutter and excess baggage that crowds our lives and our thinking. Clean slates are very liberating and make you start thinking of all the possibilities that are available to you, if you only make room for them.

Sometimes I get on what I call my “crazy cleaning sprees” and get rid of all kinds of excess clutter and junk. What’s the most outrageous cleaning spree you’ve gone on? Were the results good or bad, liberating or costly?

Photo by Flickr userĀ John Loo, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

9 Responses to “Clean Slates”

  1. Achaessa James, CEP

    Hi, Amber. I just wanted to let you know that I read this post the other day when I was going through moving angst. I just bought a home in Glendale, CA and am moving there from Mexico City at the end of March. I was starting to get a little twisty about what should come with and what should stay at our apartment here and reading your post reminded me to just breathe and look at the bigger picture. With what we’ll save by flying, instead of driving, I’ll be able to get quality essentials and won’t have to worry about driving a loaded truck across Mexico on those horrible highways! Plus, I’ll save 5 days vacation time for a better use. Thanks for the reminder.

    • So glad to hear that it helped! I moved just over a year ago, and the new place is about half the size of my old one, which I thought would be hard to get used to. Instead, I’ve found that the one thing I’m most satisfied about over this past year is that I’ve accumulated much less crap. (There’s just no room for it.) I like that I’m consuming less, things are much less cluttered, and I just have room to breathe. If this place wasn’t a two-bedroom, 900-square-foot cottage, I’d say I’d want to scale down again! ;) Good luck moving and settling in to your new home!

  2. Slates to clean sneak up on me. I step on the scale and I’m out the door to the gym. I step outside in the garden to enjoy sunshine and start pulling weeds. I decide to add another article link to the newsletter using older posts and find myself both editing and adding a second adsense link to many.

    Rarely to I start out to change… I stumble into it.

    • I know just what you mean, Stephanie. Once I did the re-install, I really thought long and hard about what I absolutely needed on that computer. I didn’t even install Microsoft Office. (Why? I use Zoho and Google Docs.) I’ve noticed so much over the past two years how little I’m actually using mess that I keep on my computers (and how less often my computers are crashing as a result). Things are much lighter these days, which is very liberating!