Just a spontaneous vlog as I was decluttering and getting rid of things on this Sunday morning!

Happy Organizing!

Getting Rid of Things

Hi everyone. I hope you’re having a great week so far. So, it is Sunday morning and I am organizing, de-cluttering, getting rid of things, simplifying in our basement right now. Our office is in our basemen and I’m sitting in the corner here where my desk is and my filing cabinet and just been going through a lot of things and as I’ve been going through a lot of things, I’ve been thinking that – I’ve just been thinking a lot of stuff inside my head.

I was like, “You know what? I want to share this.” I want to share this with anyone who is trying to get organized, who’s trying to make decisions on what to keep or what to donate, someone who’s sorting through things and just having a hard time parting with things and I just felt like I had a lot in my mind.

So I’m filming this very – not random, but just like non-planned video. Part of me, as I was thinking that I want to film this video, was thinking that – you know, I’m sitting here. I’m in my pajamas. I haven’t gotten ready for the day. I’m not wearing make-up. My hair is probably a mess and part of me was thinking I need to wait until the perfect time to film this video. I need to sit down.

Well, first off, I need to get ready. I need to look nice. I need to sit down and I need to write down all of my thoughts that I’m going to talk about on video and just have it very organized. I just – when I was thinking about that and I was thinking, “Oh, there’s so much planning involved,” I was telling myself or I was thinking that my inner perfectionist is totally stopping me from getting more stuff done and sharing more information because I feel like I’m waiting for the perfect time.

So I was thinking, “You know what? I’m going to just film this video and everything is good enough.” My hair is enough. I’m not wearing make-up. My pajama is fine. We all look like this in the morning and I’m just going to share what I’m thinking and it’s about the information. It’s not about your own perfectionism. So this is really hard for me but I’m doing it.

How to Get Started

If there’s something that you are waiting for the perfect day to do, to accomplish, to tackle, sometimes we keep waiting. We keep waiting for the situation to change. We keep waiting for something else to happen before we start something else. We keep justifying and giving ourselves excuses and reasons why today is not the perfect day to do something.

It’s not the perfect day to start when in reality, we just need to dive in, jump in and get started and not wait for these “perfect conditions” to start things, because we’re holding ourselves back from being our most productive self by letting our own perfectionism stop us.

So – and whatever the perfect conditions might mean to you. That’s very subjective. It’s different for every single person. But the point – what I’m trying to say is just jump in and get started and you will see that you’re going to be so much more productive if you can just not – get out of your own way and just get started and not give yourself excuses and reasons why it’s not the right time.

I think I just said the same thing twice in a row. But I’m just going to continue moving forward.

How to Declutter & Simplify

So anyway, yesterday, I was going through my books up here. That’s the bookshelf right there. I don’t know if you can see that or not, but was going through my books and just going through and trying to figure out the stuff that I want to get rid off. So this year, one of my – I don’t like to use the word “resolutions”. But my thing for this year is to simplify and trying to do a lot of simplifying in my life, in my home and just with myself as well.

One of those things is to simplify the stuff in my house and I don’t feel like I have a lot of stuff. I feel like the one thing I do have a lot of is office supplies. But in terms of clothes and knickknacks and decorations and kitchen stuff, I don’t really have a lot of stuff. Most of the stuff I have, I need and I use. But in the office, I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that I’m not using, I no longer need.

So this weekend, I’m taking this weekend to kind of go through and figure out the stuff that I can part with. So yesterday, I did the books and I didn’t think I was going to have a hard time sorting through books and setting aside books.

But last night before I went to bed, I was really – I was laying in bed and I was thinking about all the books that I got rid of yesterday and I was just starting to feel sad. I was starting to feel – what’s the word?

Like just regretting my decision to get rid of them and I was laying there and I was just thinking, “Why am I sad?” They’re just books. They’re not – I don’t really need them. They’re just books. I have the knowledge. I read them. Knowledge is inside of me. I have the information, which is the point of buying a book to get the information. I have that. Why am I sad?

The more I was just asking myself, the more I just felt like, I don’t know, these books are a part of me. It’s like – at one time, I didn’t know this information and now I know it and it has helped me grow into a different person. What if I need the information down the road? If I need the information down the road, I will do some research online. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, worst case scenario, I buy the book again and I could buy the ebook, if that’s available or the audiobook, which means I don’t have to have something physical to take up space.

Once I really like just stopped and asked myself why am I so sad over this, I realized that it’s not a big deal. It’s just a book. I’m sharing it with someone else. There’s someone else out there who’s looking for this information that I have, that I’m holding on to, but don’t use and don’t need anymore. There’s someone out there who needs this.

So why would I not share the book with them? Once I got clear on that and realized that there are other people that need this stuff, it’s OK. I felt so much better.

So another reason why I was sad to get rid of them is because I love this bookshelf. I love the binders and the rainbow order and all my books that were color-coded. I just feel like it’s so pretty and it goes in my office so beautifully and it’s a nice backdrop in all my videos and it just – it speaks to me, of my creativeness and my love for colors and just bright stuff and it’s happy to look at. Really, just I feel happy looking at it.

When I realized that that’s another reason why I was sad, I thought, well, I still have my binders. I still have my beautiful, colorful binders that I use, I need and they are still serving their purpose. I still have other beautiful, fun things in my office that again I use and I need and once I just got clear and I talked to myself about it, I just felt so much better and I started to just – I’m letting go of the books. I’m letting go of them. I’m making space for more information or more knowledge or something else that I do use and need to come in up here on this shelf.

So yeah, I just felt better after talking to myself. Sometimes that’s what you need to do. You need to sit down and just talk to yourself about it and really understand and figure out why you’re having a hard time parting with something and just talk to yourself about it.

So something else this morning that I was going through sorting out and trying to figure out what to do with was all of my old planners and journals. For a while, I’ve been holding on to those things. I showed them in one of my videos last year. They are in my craft closet across the room and I pulled them out and I was like, “Oh, I just want to keep them. They’re so fun to go back and look through,” and they’re from 2006, 2007, 2008. I think it’s – yeah, I think it’s those three years and it’s fun to just look at.

I was looking at all my stickers of the daily exercise and all the appointments and that was right around the time where I started my business and just seeing all the things that I did to get started and all the effort I put in and all this stuff was just – I don’t know. It was like a trip down memory lane and it was just cool to read and look at and every so often I do that.

I sat there and I asked myself, “Why do I need to hold on to these things? Why do I need to know what I was doing on January 18th, 2007?” I don’t. I don’t need to know what I was doing. That serves me no purpose today at all. It’s a memory. It’s a memory of the past. But by getting rid of that planner, I’m not getting rid of my past. That’s just a memento from that time period. It doesn’t mean that I’m erasing some part of my past history, not at all.

And I sat there and I asked myself, “OK. If I got rid of these things, then what? What happens?” A year from now, am I going to be remembering these planners? Am I going to be sitting there in regrets, regretting my decision? Maybe I will, but probably I won’t. I will probably forget about it a year from now.

So when I said that to myself and I sat there and I was thinking why is this – like why does it feel good to read old stuff? Why does it feel good to read old journals and stuff?

I was thinking – I don’t even know if this is making sense what I’m saying. But I was sitting there thinking. I was like, well, I’m reading these things and I just feel like the past is so much better than current – than my current, present life.

When I said that to myself, I was like, no, that is not true. It’s like I feel like every time you look back at the past, you always – you just see all the happy times. But you don’t see the struggle. You don’t see the things that you were going through, the things that were happening in your life that weren’t so great. I feel like you only see the happy times.

When I sat there and I thought about it more, I was like, “You know what? 2006, 2007 and 2008 were such hard years that I’m not seeing that when I look at these planners.” But I’m comparing them to my life now. My life now is so much better. I’m such a better person. I’ve grown so much. I just feel like my life now is so much better.

So looking back and just, I don’t know, thinking that my life back then was so much better is – that doesn’t mean no good now. Like, what good does that do me now? It’s not true and I don’t know. What’s the point of keeping these?

So eventually, after like – I’m losing my voice. After, I don’t know, maybe like 10 minutes contemplating all this stuff, just talking to myself inside my head, I finally decided that I’m going to rip everything out. I’m going to shred the pages and I’m going to recycle the rest and I’m going to move forward.

So that is what I did. I finally let go of all of my old planners, my old journals and I have set them free and for a second, I – maybe like 20 minutes after I did that, I went back to the shred pile and looked at them one more time.

I thought about it again and I went through the whole thought process of everything I just described to you one more time and I said yes. Let them go and I’ve let them go.

I am about to shred everything and I’m going to take the recycling out to get it out and not be able to go through the shred pile again, and just move forward.

I’m just going to move forward and so if there’s something in your life that you are holding on to, that is cluttering up your life, that is – serves no purpose to you anymore and you don’t need it, you don’t use it and it’s just collecting dust, it’s just sitting in a pile or just sitting in a box and it’s not doing you any good, I challenge you to open that box or open that closet and just ask yourself why you’re holding on to something and really understand your thoughts and what you’re afraid is going to happen if you get rid of something.

When you talk to yourself, you realize that nothing is really going to happen if you get rid of something, something that you don’t use and you don’t need. Nothing is going to happen.

If it’s something that someone else can enjoy, there’s someone out there that is looking for whatever you have that you don’t use and need, and you have an opportunity to share that item with someone else and help someone.

So it’s kind of cool. You have an opportunity right in front of you to help someone. So that is just what I want to talk about in this video. There’s also – I was going through some of the binders behind me and I was pulling out all these binders I pretty much use and need all this stuff. I went through them recently, but there’s one of them that I was about to pull out all the stuff and recycle because I don’t need it. It’s my catalog binder.

I put this binder together for a project I was working on last year and then decided to get rid of the project. So now I don’t need the binder. But before I get rid of it, I want to show you how I organize my catalogs and some of these pamphlets in here because those are kind of tough to organize. I put them into a binder and I’m going to show you how I’ve organized that binder. So let me show you what it looks like.

OK. This is the binder. It is a three-inch BETTER Binder from Staples. See, it says “catalogs” and it just says “catalogs” inside and really there’s only one thing that I really want to show you.

So, these cool pages right here are just like single pages and they’re just hole-punched because you can hole-punch them because they’re nice and thin.

The second thing, which I’ve talked about these before, but these are …

OK. Sorry, the camera cut out. But these are just gusseted binder pockets which I’ve shown plenty of times before. It’s not really what I want to show you. But these work well for catalogs and brochures and stuff, things that you can’t really punch holes in because they’re just so thick like this. You can’t really punch holes in that because it’s so thick.

This has – it’s called a spiral on it. So it’s kind of hard. All right. But the thing that I want to show you is these things right here. So this is a catalog which again is hard to punch holes in. So I found these little – they’re magazine catalog holders and so you put it right in the middle of the catalog just like that.

You just slide right in into the middle and you put them into the binder. So you don’t have to poke holes or punch holes in them, because it’s so thick. It just goes just like that. So we just have two of these. But this one, you could never punch holes in this. We could use one of these thingies and put it into a binder.

So that’s my catalog binder. Just a small tip. But I will put a link to where you can get those things in the description of this video. But that is everything I want to share in this very spontaneous video, non-planned video.

That is it. So if there is – I hope this video has given you something to think about if you are de-cluttering in the new year and you’re holding on to things you don’t necessarily need and use. I hope this video has inspired you to begin tackling those things and just talk to yourself on whether – you know, why you’re holding on to something.

Also for anyone else who is a perfectionist out there, if you’re holding yourself back, and you’re waiting for the perfect time to start something or to continue something or to pick up on something you started, or to make some kind of change in your life, you’re waiting for these perfect conditions, I challenge you to just get started. Just jump in. Dive in and just get started and know that you’re stopping yourself from making progress, for being the best version of yourself, from greatness, from productivity, by convincing yourself and giving yourself excuses.

OK. My camera is really about to – the battery is going to die or the memory card is out. So I will just quickly end this. If you’re stopping yourself from greatness, productivity, becoming the best version of yourself by letting your perfectionism, your inner perfectionist tell you that now is not the right time to begin, you know, it’s not good enough. It is good enough. You are good enough. You love yourself. Just get started. Jump in and you’re going to feel so much better.

So I will see you in the next video. My camera is really about to die. OK, have a great week and I will see you soon. Bye.

About Alejandra

About Alejandra

Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and “The Decluttering Queen” by Good Morning America, Alejandra’s expertise has been featured in The New York Times,, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. 


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