3 Tips to Light a Fire Under Your Ass and Take Action by @MelindaMassie

Take Action


by Melinda Massie | Featured Contributor

In Steel Magnolias, Olympia Dukakis as Clairee Belcher says, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”

My Sunshines, the only thing separating you from the cluttered masses is the ability to light a fire under your tookus and take action.

Yes, darling, it is indeed that simple.

Or is it?

Recently, I keep being asked different questions that all have the same answer. In a recent article I was quoted in, one commenter asked how he can take the items he’s keeping to reach a particular goal and turn them into action.

Take action.

On a recent home consult, the potential client says to me, “I’ve read all the articles and know what to do. How do I do it?”

Do. It.

A friend asks, “I know I need to empty out my closet, but I don’t know how to start.”

Just start.

It seems the simple answer is to take action but too often we’re stuck. If clutter is what is standing in the way between you and your goals, taking action is how you’ll actually get rid of the clutter and reach those goals. Following is how to light the fire under your ass and start taking action:

Acknowledge your emotions.

There are always SO many emotions tied up into our clutter that keeps us stuck in inaction: fear, anxiety, depression, overwhelm, guilt. You name it; I’ve heard it. Acknowledge whateverit is you’re feeling. Feel it. Honor it. Then offer it a cocktail and send it on its own merry little way. Negative emotions only douse the fire we’re lighting.

Multi-tasking is bullshit.

We’re programmed to believe that multi-tasking is good and we’re getting more done. Big. Fat. Lie. All multi-tasking does is prove you can do a whole bunch of things to mediocrity.

Mediocre sucks. Maintain a SINGULAR FOCUS (yes it deserves all caps) and you’ll do each thing better and in less time.

To do this, remove ALL distractions and choose a small area to work on. Set a timer (5-30 minutes) and focus ONLY ON THAT AREA until the timer goes off. If you get distracted or wander away from your chosen area before time then STOP and come back to the goal area. Everything that needs to be dealt with will be dealt with in its own time. You’ll get there.


Prepare for your to-do list to snowball.

Most often, when we start taking action, more actions need to be taken. It’ll suck. Remember the 5 things about getting organized that suck? Consider this the 6th. That’s just the way it is.

Your new mantra is “I commit to seeing things through to the very end.” That means that the donations pile isn’t finished until it’s out the door and at the charity of your choosing. Dinner isn’t done until the dishes are washed and back into the cabinet. The stack of filing isn’t done until the papers are actually filed. Now if part of these extra tasks means you need to finding homes for items in a room you haven’t worked on yet, that’s ok. Put them in the room they’ll live in and deal with it when you work on that room. There is a certain amount of shuffling that happens when you’re working on large tasks. Just make sure you’re not using the shuffle as a procrastination technique.

Basically, Sunshines, it comes down to one thing: there’s nothing to it but to do it. Seriously. So if things need to be done, do them. If you know what to do, do it. If you’re unsure what to do, do it. If you’re scared to do it, do it anyway. If you have a goal that is important enough to you, you CAN do it. Starting is always the hardest part but once you get started, it usually flows right on through. You just have to light a fire under your ass and take action.


Professional Organizer – Melinda Massie of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous – Ft. Worth, TX

Headshot - croppedOften called a healer, therapist of stuff and the organizing ninja, Melinda Massie is the owner of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous in Fort Worth, TX. If your home is a hot mess then she’ll help you take control over the clutter so you can make your home fabulous. Combining her sensible, no-fuss organizing philosophies with a vivacious personality and healthy dose of “redhead,” she makes getting organized suck less. As a former professional ballroom dancer and event planner, she also brings in some sparkle and entertainment to the process.

Melinda was named Best Personal Organizer 2011 by Fort Worth, Texas Magazine and Most Glamorous Home-Based Business in the 2011 StartupNation Home-Based 100. Her tips have been seen in Woman’s Day, SHAPE and many other local and national publications.

In her free time, Melinda enjoys yoga, cooking and eating indulgent food and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.

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