Spring Cleaning Your Life

Recently I attended a WomanSage salon on the topic of “De-Cluttering Your Life”.  If I hadn’t been doing a tribute to a friend who had passed away late last year, I would have chosen not to go because I have done so much de-cluttering the past five years.  I was totally over it, in spite of my very messy, junk-filled garage.  We downsized our storage unit last fall and crammed everything into our garage which until then had been the all-important man cave.  The timing of the downsizing was good because when my husband had some serious health issues, he stopped smoking his beloved cigars and virtually gave up the man cave to all the boxes of books, dishes, glassware, old photos albums, beach chairs, camping items, grandkids’ toys, seasonal decorations, pet stuff and home supplies.  We put a spare chair and small table in the guest room so he can watch his early morning TV shows and have a cup of coffee.  It’s kind of a mini man cave, but that seems to be working for him.

On the night of the salon, I walked through my little hoarder’s path in the garage and out to my car in the driveway thinking for a flash, “I might need more de-cluttering support after all.”  And with that, I found myself atkathleen_ronald_original-300x199 the salon, seated next to guest speaker, Kathleen Ronald, who turns out to be the de-cluttering dynamo of the Western world.  Her ebullience almost knocked me out of my chair.  A true pro at public speaking – her company is called Speaktacular – Kathleen proceeded to deliver an empowering program that was way more motivational than organizational.  She shared with us that clutter can do more than annoy; it can destroy.  Getting rid of clutter is amazingly empowering and of course, it starts with a small step reminiscent of the answer to the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” 

I admit some skepticism when it comes to listening to motivational speakers because I have been one myself.  I was captivated by Kathleen’s honesty, clarity, humor and passion for her topic.  I got what she was talking about – and it wasn’t simply about cleaning out the garage.  Her words seemed to congeal into a visceral invitation to clean out my life.  Her zen de-cluttering message made me realize I had more than books and dishes to let go of; I had some people to turn loose from my life as well. 

I’ve spoken with “Kathy” several times since that night at the WomanSage salon.  I’ve also enjoyed the fabulous, long voicemail messages she leaves me and her unabashed conviction to practice kindness.  In addition to being the queen of de-cluttering, she is an amazing networker with international connections.  Lucky me to be one of those.

If you have a chance to see Kathleen or hire her to give a presentation to your organization, don’t miss it!  She does not disappoint!

Meanwhile, I’m doing my spring cleaning, starting with the man cave.

Shannon Ingram
Shannon is a co-founder of BoomerReviews.com. An expert in the field of marketing to Boomers, seniors and family caregivers, she is the author of "The Heart Way - A Journey from Corporate to Care" about her experience of caring for her elderly parents. She is Vice President of Industry Marketing for Caring.com and an active supporter of UCI MIND, the University of California Irvine's Institute for Memory Impairment and Neurological Disorders. She considers her most important title to be "Granny Shanny" and enjoys spending as much time as possible with her two grandchildren.

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  1. Kathleen says:

    Shannon ~ WOW…what a post! I’m so very honored to get to hear your perspective on that evening. AMAZING! I’m so excited that the messages touched your heart and expanded your vision on “Clutternomics” and the overall cost life’s clutter ~ beyond just the physical stuff! I wish YOU all the best and so APPRECIATE your kind, loving and thoughtful share! My heart is full ~ Thank YOU! Can’t wait to connect and laugh again…Kathleen PS: Keep shining your light as YOU are a “gifted” writer! I could read YOUR works all day!

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