While technological advances have created efficiencies of speed in communication, Virginia believes they are coming at a cost regarding communication and interaction within families. Her HELP acronym for families is ‘Have Everyone Learn To Pitch In,’ as women juggle children, work, community involvement and try to squeeze in time for fitness, fun, and romance. She asks a similar question that is addressed by anthropologists in the first episode of UCTV’s web-series titled, 'A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance.' What is your stuff saying about you, and is it a reflection of who you are now? Is it weighing you down, distracting you, and chipping away at your confidence to feel grounded and able to handle life’s ups and downs? Or is it nourishing you?
Virginia says “Seeing calm breeds being calm” and advocates that women choose to start organizing projects in rooms that are seen first thing in the morning. Her choices include the master bedroom or the kitchen which she describes as the stomach of the home, where food and family activities are consumed and digested. She compares homes to jigsaw puzzles with each room being an interlocking piece of the whole, and underscores the need for women to look at their homes holistically rather than as individual rooms. The idea is to identify primary functions of rooms and then organize those rooms according to their purpose, removing any items that are not in alignment with that purpose, or the current activities of the family or family members.
In her book, Virginia focuses on the psychology behind why we hold onto things and gives women solutions for deciding what stays and what goes. “All of us have stuff to deal with,” she says. “It’
To download the free audio version of Chapter One, ‘Demystifying Clutter,’ GO TO: Virginia Barkley’s website, www.CluttterBustingForBusyWomen.com
Virginia Barkley, ‘America’s Leading Authority on ClutterBusting for Busy Women’ is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). Her insights and innovative problem-solving approaches have helped her clients streamline their environments - both personal and professional - into CALM and clutter-free spaces.