Welcome to my Confronting Clutter newsletter. This month’s topic: "How to balance chaos with order to support a creative life."
I have a huge aversion to cleaning up after myself and maintaining systems of organization. I find that kind of neat, tidy, predictable sort of person so boring. It's not how I want to be. But how can I express my artistic soul without getting totally buried in the mess?
Creative but Chaotic

Dear Creative but Chaotic -
I understand your aversion to order. Carried to the extreme it can be deadly dull. It's no fun to be in a household where no pin is allowed to be out of place. We need freedom and sponteneity to keep our lives fresh and vibrant and juicy.

But life is a dance between chaos and order. Without predictability, structures, or rhythms of clean-up, the clutter can quickly get out of control.

I enjoy getting into a flow and not worrying about the mess. Then, when things start getting out of hand, I set a timer for ten minutes of orderly clean-up time. I call it "Gertrude time," after one of the characters  in my fairy tale, The Bear's Gift. 

Gertrude is a hard-working older sister who loves sorting, putting things away, and crossing items off of lists. For ten minutes, I summon her energy and give myself fully to the process of bringing order to the mess..

Here's the beauty of it. I don't have to change my overall style. I don't have to be tidy all the time. I don't have to make an orderly environment be my highest life goal.

When I practice periodically inviting in Gertrude's energy instead of discounting it, I find she has many gifts to share. My life and my creativity become sustainable.

You might want to experiment with your own version of this practice.


Classes & Events

Free Podcast
Nathan Ohren of Journaltalk interviews me on the topic Journaling to Clear Clutter. Listen now.

Clearing Space to Write - an online class
Writing requires dedicated space, time and focus which can be easily taken over by clutter - external and internal. Learn more about clearing that clutter so you can get to whatever type of writing you’re hoping to do by clicking here: Therapeutic Writing Institute. Starts June 4 and goes for four weeks.

Clearing the Clutter: Making Room for What Matters
I’ve been invited back as key presenter for the July session of the Eliot Institute’s week-long retreat at Seabeck retreat center in Seabeck, WA , July 11-18. Info at The Eliot Institute.

Clearing the Clutter and Finding Yourself
An online class available this fall!
More details to come.
Contact me to tell me how it goes, share your own ideas, or ask the the clutter-clearing questions that are stumping you. I’ll do my best to answer them in future newsetters.

Sending you gentle support,
Copyright © 2015 Carolyn Koehnline. All rights reserved.
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