Cosmic Colonic – Clearing space for what matters

Workspace for what matters

Workspace for what matters

In prior posts, I described how the Year of the Rat eventually evolved into the Cosmic Colonic. I am thrilled these posts have inspired people to start facing their overstuffed homes and lives. Many people began as I did, by dealing with just one micro project a day. Well, dear readers, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Cosmic Colonic was my nice way of saying what I was really doing which was getting rid of all the shit I didn’t need. There was so much crap in my house that I had been storing for years. My problem is not that I am a packrat, I don’t save things for sentimental reasons. I am one of those people that thinks we may need it someday and Mr. Applebum is a packrat. And I, being the organized type A personality that I am, just found a nice home for everything and there it stayed forever, even though we never had use for it.

Room for what Matters

This is all the computer stuff we need.

This is all the computer stuff we need.

This is not just about clearing out your clothes closet. This is about dealing with years of crap stuffed into every nook and cranny of your living space, garage and storage. It’s about not being able to lay your hands on what you need when you need it. It’s about all the new stuff you buy, because have no idea what you already have.

My office was so overstuffed, I avoided it. This kept me from doing the things that were important, such as  taking pics of the kids or making my beloved music mixes. This is what had to be addressed:

  • a huge file cabinet filled with paperwork that went back 15 years.
  • boxes that all our tech gadgets came in, just in case they had to be returned someday (they didn’t)
  • old cell phones, keyboards, cameras and all the other stuff designed to be obsolete within hours of purchase.
  • tons of computer software boxes, cd-roms, programs, back up storage disks, old floppy discs (!)
  • cables, cords and what-not for tons of stuff we no longer had

All that crap was mixed in with the stuff I needed such as as the i-pod cord, the camera charger and usb cable. It also left me feeling totally overwhelmed to start any new project such as editing and printing the kids photos or searching for new music on-line. It was sucking the life out of me and keeping me from taking pics of my kids and sending music to those I love.

The only way out is through

That’s one thing I learned about myself in this process. I am really linear. What does that mean? I can’t get to Step E (new music mix) until A – D is done. It’s what makes me a great finisher, but a terrible starter. I’m too busy obsessing about all the steps that have to happen to get to the finished result. Welcome to my head. So the only way out of this crap-fest was through it.

And the freakin’ file cabinets, that was a big one. I don’t save objects but I save paperwork, receipts and boxes. Turns out I’m big on documentation. I had files from my first apartment way back in New Mexico. I had so many files folders of articles I wanted to read, but never had time. Articles from grad school in 2004 I never got to. Articles from teaching a year later, that I also never had time for.  Carefully organized and filed away under “Things to Read” (yeah, I know) ready for me to get to when hell freezes over.

I can’t tell you how great the lightening feels. That stuff was oppressive, it was always there. I held on to it for reasons I am still working to understand.  I figured out what needs to be saved for tax reporting purposes (uh, google) and got rid of the rest. I went from two huge file cabinets down to two little file drawers. We had a giant shredding party and played in it for a good long while. It was a BLAST. And then recycled it, of course.

Room for Family, Creativity and Art

Next I went through all the cabinets and media drawers. Turns out, we did not need most of what I had been saving, I would say less than 20%. And once I cleared everything out, it was fun to set it up in a way that was useful for me. The  overflowing metal box of cords and techno whatnot was emptied down to the essentials we needed on a daily basis: camera, camera charger, i-pod, and the related cables and THAT”S IT! Then I put the box on my desk, so it was in arms reach when I was on the computer. Duh. These small but really important changes come after the colonic when you actually have space to see and think about your living space.Voila!

Plenty of room for dreams and growth!

Plenty of room for dreams and growth!

Then I found one of my media boxes from when I taught and put all my copies of my mixes that I had made for Little Sister Applebum. I put them in, in order. And marveled at how many there were and how I had evolved over time. And then I put it in a practically empty cabinet which left me lots of room to grow.And that was the first step to becoming a cosmic dj and hip hop mama. Clearing room for my art, removing obstacles to those things that mattered.

Good luck. And tune in tomorrow, for part 2 of this series.

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