Cleaning S*#t out and the joys of decluttering!


(This one’s a bit of a dog leg from what I normally talk about (cameras, lights, video, business, portraits and weddings) but it does tie in. The photo at left shows the 25 tubs that have been waiting since January at our house. The cart was perfectly there at storage to assist us, and the clutter in the hallway is about halfway through the day)

Yesterday Nicki and I started (and it’s merely a start) on a project that we have been planning to do since January but realistically we’ve wanted — and needed — to do it for several years. We’ve been kicking this can down the road, as they say, for far too long.

You see, yesterday we faced down the beast — the storage facility — all 10’ x 10’ of unmitigated clutter.

And, I’m very happy to report — we feel incredible and excited to keep on track and doing more.

Yes, throwing s*#t out felt AMAZING!!

We cleared up SO much stuff — papers that need to be shredded, crumbling boxes of negatives that are now in more secure plastic bins (I will be editing and scanning only the best of these and chucking the rest soon). I said to her as we were cleaning : “this is like really looking at the accumulated clutter of our nearly 16 years of marriage” And it’s so true.

We found loads of softcover and hardcover books — many donated to the local library — but also found some photographic monographs (absolute treasures) by some of my favorites — Larry Towell, David Alan Harvey and Josef Koudelka of Magnum, and Albert Watson. These were books that I had forgotten that I owned because the were literally at the bottom of a pile of boxes.

While many folks around the world are being tragically being forced to lose their possessions due to natural calamities like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma (bearing down on Miami as I write — prayers sent for safety of all there), this was a forced separation from “things."

There’s still a lot more to shed. There are cases, some gear (I’ll be selling some older Elinchrom mono bloc strobes), a half dozen bags and backpacks, tripods, old filters — things from my previous life as a freelancer, from the film days and stuff that I really don’t use anymore and don’t need to be carrying around anymore. It’s like going on a massive diet from “stuff” and it felt great!

The goal is now to only keep what we absolutely love, use consistently for business and pleasure and then sell or give away the rest.

I can’t tell you what a burden has begun to lift from the shoulders even though my shoulders and hamstrings are a bit sore from all the moving and lifting.

But boy is it worth it. 

And how this fits in to our business is this: We’re facing something that has gnawing at us but we haven’t tackled. We’re also reassessing and reaffirming just what we love and want to hold onto. Will we make mistakes and throw away something that *might* be useful in a year? Perhaps, but we’ll cross that when we get there.

And while our goal of shedding enough junk so that we can go to a smaller storage facility might not be totally doable….at least we will have a storage facility that is clean, orderly and you can actually see the floor!!!

But I think the biggest thing for us is that by clearing out clutter and junk from the past, we are now free to look forward knowing that what we’re taking with us is serving us now going forward and not merely something to cling to from the past. Sure, we want to hold onto memories and items from the past, but we want to do it in an orderly and more clear and conscious way. And it just feels INCREDIBLE!! 

Clearing out the physical clutter works in clearing out the mental clutter, as my wife says.

Is there a project you’ve been putting off for a while? What is stopping you? Is there anything I can do to help?

Hope you have an awesome weekend and stay safe.




p.s. I’m now offering One to One coaching and you can find out more by sending me an email or by going to my website here. Having a tech issue? Not sure what gear to get? Lighting problems? Are you stuck in building your wedding or portrait biz? Let me know — I’m here to help.


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