Susan Casey's office

Photo: Jessica Antola

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Casey initially told Walsh she was "beyond help," but by now she's purged her office of Post-its, file folders, therapeutic travel pillows, excess copies of her recent best-selling book, The Wave, and a salt shaker in the shape of a shark fin. Her space feels bright and crisp. Walsh empowers Karla Gonzalez, Casey's assistant, to "manage upward," carving out five minutes at the end of each day to help Casey clear surface areas and pack up anything she wants to take home. (When other assistants see clutter building near their areas, they, too, are instructed to ask for permission to throw it away—or better yet, just throw it away.)

A few days after Walsh returns to California, a new calm has set in. "It's amazing," says Casey. "By de-cluttering and organizing, it's like you open up an energetic space to get things done. I got so excited that I went home and cleaned my apartment, too."