Jan 27 2017

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The Power of Decluttering: The Day I Found $35 and My New Office

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Found $35 and a new office

The Day I Found $35 and My New Office

It’s not everyday I find money.

Oh, I wish. But when I set out to “find” my office, I never imagined being rewarded with $35 too. I’d heard that tidying up and decluttering was magical … Until that day, I hadn’t experienced it. (I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying : The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing*)

Saturday morning, I stood in my closet doorway thinking about the question from the day before. “Where do you write?”

I didn’t have a place to write.

I didn’t have a routine.

I didn’t have an answer.

But, I had been reading a new book about managing my home: How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana White*. She encouraged me to declutter so I could enjoy the home I had. That thought resonated with my desire for an office space.

I can’t afford to build onto the back of our house. The garage, while having room, changes temperatures with the season making it unpleasant in the winter and summer. The only place I could make space was my closet.

I thought about my closet. If I could declutter in my closet, I’d have enough room for a small desk.

I felt butterflies of excitement. An office. For me. I want that.

Making decisions

I took bins out of my closet and made decisions. I shredded papers that had been sitting in my closet for years. Years. What were they doing in my closet for years? Indecision.

Indecision kept me from choosing. In my mind, I could keep things for three reasons:

  • I used it or thought it had potential to be used.
  • I needed it to take action.
  • I loved it. It was sentimental.

Otherwise, I should throw it away. Instead of deciding, I couldn’t decide if I needed it now or could use it later. I didn’t want to take action in the moment. And if it didn’t fit in either category, I put it in my sentimental reason for keeping it. I didn’t decide, so I put it in a pile. I had a piles of indecision waiting on me.

But this day, I was determined. An office awaited. Instead of piling it up, I decided. As I went through my papers and envelopes, I found Christmas money (from not too long ago) and an old birthday card … from two years ago. I can’t explain myself. Why would that money not go into my wallet immediately? I didn’t guilt myself, instead I felt elated. Who doesn’t like to find money. This time, I put the cash into my wallet right away.

I worked the whole day and put the little desk into my closet. In one day, I found $35 and an office. As a bonus, my old desk spot became my new guitar nook.

An office for me

It’s been weeks since then, and I’ve loved having an office. Having an office has helped move me towards my long-held dreams.

I want to become a professional writer. Now I have an office.

I want to grow my business of teaching beginner guitar. Now I have an office.

Am I rolling in the dough? Not even close. But this is my beginning. It all started because I decluttered. I am thankful for the gift my office has been to me.

How about you?

What would you gain if you got rid of the stuff that’s been sitting around your house under big piles or packed into unopened boxes?

I’m not done decluttering. I have more, so much more, to throw away and donate. I have a sewing/crafting table begging to be cleared to make room for projects. I still have papers in my file cabinet taking up room. But now I know the magic. I don’t need to find money—as nice as that is—I want to enjoy the space God has given me.


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