What Oprah Knows for Sure About Decluttering Her Life
February 09, 2011
Thirteen years ago, I was on trial in Amarillo, Texas, for defaming a burger. Luckily, free speech won. But that was a trying time for me (they call it a trial for a reason). It wasn't just a challenge to sit in a courtroom all day and do a show at night—it was a profoundly eye-opening experience. I learned a lot about myself. My strategy team, led by Dr. Phil McGraw, hunkered down with me in a cozy B&B, where we'd have late-night planning and pie-eating sessions. For six weeks I was away from home and all things familiar, living in my one room, which felt an awful lot like a dressed-up dorm.
And here's the funny part: I was so content.
Content without a lot of possessions to distract me. Just the basics. I had the book I was actually reading—not 17 stacked on a window shelf, as I have now. I appreciated the simplicity of my surroundings. It helped me focus on what was important at the time: winning the trial.
Now my life is filled with so much clutter.
So as I count down to the end of the show and move on to my next chapter, at OWN, I'm not just cleaning my closet. I'm cleaning out my life. And I'm keeping only that which delights me or enhances my well-being. That means another big ol' garage sale coming up: clothes, shoes, dishes, furniture, stuff.
Organizational expert Peter Walsh says in his book Enough Already! that our homes are "overwhelmed with stuff and [our] lives littered with the empty promises that the stuff didn't fulfill.... In buying what we want, we hope to acquire the life we desire.... [But] chasing the life you want by accumulating more stuff is a dead-end street."
This I know: More things don't make you feel more alive.
Yet feeling more alive is part of fulfilling your true self. It's the reason we're all here.
Enough already with the stuff that doesn't enhance who you really are.
I want to be lean and clean for the future, dust off my wings. I know for sure that doing so will make it easier to fly.