Today I’m back with Part 2 of my interview with Brooks Palmer and his tips on Clutter Busting. Check out last week’s post if you missed it.
Tracy: I know you divide your time between the LA and Chicago areas, what would be your biggest organizing tip for people who travel to various long-distance locations for work like you do?
Brooks: Bring the least amount of stuff… the bare, bare, bare, bare minimum. To the point where you might think “I’m not going to have enough”, that’s when you know you’ve done a good packing job. You know there are certain things you will need, but it’s the extraneous stuff that makes it really difficult, like when you’re trying to make sure you have one of everything. A lot of times it’s about “what if this happens?”… so it’s avoiding those types of things when you’re packing, because if you need something, when you’re on the road you can get it. It’s so much easier traveling when it’s the absolute most, most, most minimum.
Tracy: I understand that you’re no longer doing on-site one-on-one clutter busting sessions but have made the switch to doing phone consulting and webinars…how’s that working out for you?
Brooks: I really like working in people’s homes, but for health reasons it’s not that good for me. I miss doing that a lot. The phone consulting hasn’t picked up that much yet, but the teleseminars I’ve done 7-8. Those are fun, people call in and they talk about their clutter situation and it can be taken care of pretty quickly thru that. And I can help more than one person at once, so that’s nice.
Tracy: Are you doing the teleseminars every week?
Brooks: I’m trying them on different days now. I was doing them on Saturdays, but I’m going to try doing them on weeknights. It’s still pretty new so I’m trying to figure out the best day. Check out Clutter Busting Facebook fan page for the most up to date information.
Tracy: Is there anything else you’d like to add that I haven’t asked about?
Brooks: I think that clutter busting is like mining for gold. Everyone’s always surprised at how much crap they have when they actually start doing it. By “crap” I mean stuff they realize “oh I don’t need this”. And the gold is they end up taking all the crap out themselves and they think much clearer, they feel that much better, and they find stuff they care about. It’s nice to have stuff you love to use, love to wear or you become closer to the people who are really important to you. I just encourage people to start and see what’s there and what doesn’t need to be there anymore. There’s a momentum there that helps them out. You know because you do the same work.
Tracy: Yeah! It’s fun to watch their faces kind of light up as I keep taking more truckloads away. I love it.
Brooks: Yeah they light up.
Tracy: Yeah they really do. Sometimes it’s like you peel age off their face. It’s very satisfying.
Brooks: Yeah, absolutely.
In his ten plus years of Clutter Busting, Brooks has learned first-hand about the intense emotional connection most people have with material possessions, and has consistently found that his way of working with clients allows them to see and let go of internal and external clutter without delving into the psychological reasons behind the clutter. Since 2000, Brooks has been using compassion, awareness, and humor to help thousands of clients rid their lives of clutter and develop habits to keep them clutter free.
Brooks is the author of Clutterbusting, Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back (New World Library, 2009), and Clutter Busting Your Life: Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others (New World Library, 2012).
©Synergy Organizing 2012
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