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Episode 33: “Tidying Up Your Communications” with Melissa Pritsiolas, a Business Owner, Lifestyle Coach, and Certified KonMari Consultant

“Tidying up” and keeping items based on intention has been a popular recent trend, thanks to the KonMari Method. In this episode of Reimagining Communications, Melissa Pritsiolas, a business owner, lifestyle coach, and certified KonMari consultant, shares how to create a lifestyle vision, decide with intent and intuition, and confront your clutter – including paper and digital communications.

Living Among the Clutter: “What we surround ourselves with is so important to our mental well-being and how it affects our productivity. In September 2019, I became an official KonMari consultant, the seventh consultant in New Jersey, and I have over 600 hours of working with clients in their homes. The whole thing with the KonMari method is that it's not about having a perfect closet so that you can post pictures or a perfect house. It's actually about letting go of the notion of perfection. Instead of organizing room by room, you tidy by category. So, instead of putting out small fires every day, like I was doing in the past, drawer by drawer, closet by closet, it's confronting all your stuff all at once. She wants you to practice making decisions and following your intuition. By confronting your clutter and making intentional decisions on what you want to keep and what you don't want to keep, you start to create a lifestyle that's very different than just living among all the clutter.”

The Visual Noise of Paper: “I love filing cabinets, and some people have such intricate filing systems. I start by designating a section of the house for paper. I'm usually amazed at how much paper has piled up. There are bills stuffed into books or, as you're going through your clothes, pocketbooks, and briefcases, you’ll find documents from like 2004. And the client says, ‘Well, I might need it,’ and I point out that it's from 2004 and I don't think you've touched this in years. Between the books and the papers, it's just so much visual noise. I think people don't know what's to do with their paper; they think they have to save everything.  Marie Kondo says in her book, ‘Discard everything when it comes to paper because you really don't need anything.’ I want you to keep with intention, not because you think you should or because you don't know what else to do with it or you're not sure where to access the information online. There's a lot of fear with paper and holding on to things or needing things.  Most things are replaceable or easy to find online, especially now.”

Three-part Digital Life: “Marie Kondo just came out with a new book in April, ‘Joy at Work,’ where she talks a lot about decluttering your digital life. She talks about your desktop on your computer, treating it basically the way you would treat your physical space. Do you want it cluttered with a million different files? When you log onto your computer and it comes up, does it inspire you or does it make you feel bogged down? She says, for most people, digital life has three main parts. It's your digital documents, emails, and your smartphone apps. With digital, it's so easy to just save everything because we don't physically see it until we completely lose control over the technology that's supposed to be helping us.” 

Communicating with Intention: “The KonMari method is really about leaning into what you surround yourself with in your home or your office. It's about turning your focus on what makes you happy and what you want to keep – instead of focusing on what you want to get rid of. It's keeping with intention. A couple of weeks ago, I had to take a step back from it all and just say, ‘You know, what's necessary in my life right now? Do I have to be on every Zoom call? Do I have to answer every text message, every email?’ I'm a huge Cal Newport fan. In one of his recent blogs, he said, "There's a huge opportunity here where we might notice that our current commitment to unrelenting, uncontrolled attention devouring communication is not necessarily exactly what we need." I'm kind of hoping that, just like people are keeping their items with intention, that we're going to start communicating with more intention.”

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