Women's Work = Women's Opportunity
Monday, May 27, 2019 at 10:49AM
Laura J. Moore

I had the great pleasure of being invited to speak at the “She Sails” Reunion at Dana Hall, a girl's boarding school in Wellesley, MA. (So funny they put me in the gym, since my work is often quite a "workout!") 😊

45 years ago, Dana Hall provided sanctuary for me when my family, and everything I knew (and took for granted) was breaking apart - not unlike how many people feel about America today.

The audience was like my clients: 99% women - well educated, intelligent, doing reasonably or very well in life. Perhaps many felt overwhelmed or stuck, too.

A perfect place for me to speak for the first time about what I believe to be the true potential for women as they declutter and downsize our overstuffed homes and lives.

Women's Work = Women's Opportunity
The necessity to downsize, rightsize, and organize now is fueling a nation-wide momentum of change. As America's primary homemakers and caregivers, millions of women are leading us through the clutter into clarity, one house at a time. As this country's primary shoppers, women are in position to prevent the excessive or impulsive accumulation that creates the deluge of stuff in our homes. That's a lot of power.

Traditionally, this work is done in an aggressive, masculine manner, one of attack, "conquer the clutter," "get on top" of the project, always in a hurry, regardless of the emotional wake it leaves behind. This runs counter to most women's innate instincts.

As leaders, women have the opportunity to transform this work into a platform to learn new ways of thinking and the essential life skills we all need to create sustainable, positive change in their homes and lives.

Practicing what they learn (emotional management, time management and communication skills), each decision of what to keep or let go can be made in equilibrium. For years, I've watched women's transformation. Confidence and clarity replaces drudgery and self-doubt. As they learn a new way of being in relationship to the stuff in their homes and lives, a strong, feminine model of doing the work is born.

For over 15 years, I've wondered: How is it possible that so many privileged women are overwhelmed taking care of their homes and lives today? All the organizing tips and decluttering strategies are out there… what’s missing? How are American women of lesser means going to come out from the burden of too much?

The answer is a fascinating, complex tapestry of social, political, economic, and historical forces woven tightly into our personal lives over decades. Some threads are obvious, others nuanced, but it makes perfect sense that we’re in this mess today.

From their traditional roles, women are modeling the courage and sweat it takes to bring their homes and lives into balance. Yet, there is a greater opportunity, even a necessity, hidden in this work to create new traditions. Equipped with a new mindset and life skills, women can, maybe for the first time, create a more equitable distribution of labor in their home. Only then will the mess and stress not return.

The burden in our homes and lives is a microcosm of the disorder in our country. It is our responsibility to clean it up, but it is not our fault. We did not know we were creating such a mess.

Cultural beliefs and public policy either burden or support our individual potential. What we do now matters, yet women cannot do this work alone. To truly come out from under the burden of too much, a more equitable distribution of labor in our homes is essential, but new public policy in full support women's labor, our contribution to society, is imperative. Enough is enough. Our children and grandchildren are watching.

So I titled my presentation: "It’s Your Mess, But Not Your Fault"
1) American beliefs that drove us into this mess.
2) Number one reason why American homes are a mess - that no one talks about!
3) Why Marie Kondo took America by storm - but is not enough.
4) Four essential skill sets to stay in a position of power to create sustainable change in our homes and lives.

Audience Feedback
“What a beautiful job…Your kindness and understanding shine through."
"All you say makes such sense!"
"Who knew decluttering could be such a therapeutic process to get closer to oneself and others?"
"Very eye-opening!"
"Amazing perspective!”

Launching Podcasts in 2019
This presentation and other good stuff will soon be available via ClutterClarity Podcasts. Enjoy original insights, real-life stories, essential life skills, and get the inside scoop of what my messy days are like. Details to be announced in future editions of the ClutterClarity Newsletter.

Article originally appeared on (https://clutterclarity.com/).
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