Once upon a time, I was an event planner. Through the years of planning galas, benefits, weddings, and everything in between, I spent a LOT of time chilling out with my clients. The phrase that worked with even the most anxiety-riddled client was “Don’t worry, darling. Less than fabulous is just unacceptable.” I said this phrase so often that when I started my events company my tagline HAD to be “Because less than fabulous is just unacceptable.”
I was reminded of this phrase the other day. I’m currently reading a fantastic book called “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” In it, author Greg McKeown references a piece by Derek Sivers titled, “No More Yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! Or No.” The thought is that if your reaction to something isn’t an enthusiastic and absolute yes, then it’s a no. No more “maybe, “what about in this instance,” or “just in case.” When you have to decide on something, anything less than HELL YEAH! is definitely a no.
Though I dropped my event business and that tagline just over 4 years ago, it immediately came to mind as well as its implications for my clients today. My current company’s tagline is “Making homes fabulous one hot mess at a time.” To have a fabulous home, everything in it must be fabulous. Therefore, when deciding whether to keep items or let them go, just remember that anything less than fabulous is just unacceptable.
Fabulous is, of course, subjective. So start by creating your own personal “fabulous” guidelines to help you measure whether something stays or goes. (This fits into the “love” portion of the need, use, love guidelines.)
Now all of those maybes can melt away.
- Maybe I’ll use this one day.
- Maybe it’ll become fabulous once I fix it…even if I haven’t bothered to fix it in the last 5 years.
- But maybe I’ll need it that one time? You know…when the moon is blue, and it’s a Tuesday, and I’ve had sushi for dinner. Then I’ll need it, surely?
All of that “maybe” is just cluttering up your head, home, and heart Sunshine. Time to cut that out!
As you move through your things, remind yourself that if it isn’t that enthusiastic, fabulous yes, then it’s simply no and you can let it go guilt-free.
You can also apply this decision process to anything that takes up space in your life:
- New purchases – Do I think this is absolutely fabulous and will absolutely serve the job I need it to? YES! Then go for it! If not, leave it where it is. Have patience that the thing to create your absolute yes will appear.
- Demands on your time – Do I absolutely want to do this or am I succumbing because I think I “should?” If not, gracefully say no so you have the time for your fabulous yes.
- Hiring – Whether it’s a new employee, business coach, or handyman, think about if the fit is an enthusiastic yes. If not enthusiastic, then don’t do it.
Is this a scary thought? Good. When you’ve been holding on to the “maybes” for a long time, this kind of idea is radical and scary. Channel that fear into excitement. Think about how freeing it will be to sort through your things knowing that if you don’t ABSOLUTELY AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY love it, it can go with no questions asked. When you’re finished, think about how fantastic it will feel to live in a space that only contains things you absolutely love.
After all, Sunshine, less than fabulous is just unacceptable.
Melinda is the sassy, redheaded best friend you always wanted. Called everything from slave-driver to life-saver to organizing ninja, her natural organizing skills and vivacious attitude will make getting organized suck less.
Melinda works with mildly cluttered to mildly hoarded people all over the country. She’s also teamed with extreme-cleaning crews to safely clear out massive clutter situations. She was named “Best Personal Organizer” by Fort Worth, TX Magazine and her tips have been featured in Shape, Woman’s Day, and WeTV as well as many other local and national publications.
When not clearing clutter, Melinda enjoys performing as a supernumerary with the Fort Worth Opera, yoga, cooking, and eating indulgent food, and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.