Monica Lin was a nomad who traveled the world and it was during her time traveling she was exercising packing repeatedly, she realized the cost of emotional clutter. Monica learned the key to living a simple life by decluttering her life and home. She started her journey as a Clutter Coach and is passionate about changing lives.
Boss Up: How did you become a Clutter Coach? Tell us about your journey…
Monica Lin: I’ve always found great rewards in helping others see themselves more clearly and empowering them with life skills. I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible make room for their values and design a life and living space that supports them in being their highest selves. Of the many ways to help people, I felt that transforming their relationship with their outer environment was a tangible way for them to access and clear the emotional clutter of their inner environments.
Boss Up: What inspired you to start Make Room by Monica?
Monica Lin: I like to call myself a former nomad turned professional homebody. I have moved countless times in my adult life and even lived out of a backpack as I traveled around the world for half a year. For me, the repeated exercise of packing up my life really became a meditation on “What is home and what do I need to feel at home?” Over time, I came to realize that the things that were most valuable to me weren’t things at all. They were people and experiences. Home wasn’t necessarily a place; rather it was a feeling of alignment within myself. And, I have to say, it’s a pretty fantastic feeling. I became inspired to start my professional organizing and clutter coaching business, Make Room by Monica because I want to share this amazing feeling of calm, lightness, and alignment with others.
Boss Up: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get more organized?
Monica Lin: The most important thing is to work on balancing your hormones with your lifestyle – knowing what your body needs and when it needs it and making sure these needs are fulfilled. While you are in the process of healing those hormones, there are some natural remedies you can take to get relief from the symptoms. Such as heat on painful areas, Clary Sage massage to reduce cramps and mood swings, Golden (turmeric) latte to reduce inflammation and pain, etc.
Boss Up: Is clutter a part of cultures or communities?
Monica Lin: I think that we are living in a culture that encourages mass consumption. The internet marketing machines have gotten VERY good at preying on our insecurities and creating a sense of urgency. We’re constantly pressured to make purchasing decisions before a special offer ends, and impulse buys almost always result in clutter. Other than that, I don’t think that clutter is necessarily tied to specific communities, but I do think that our relationship with our things is often informed by our upbringings and our scarcity mindset. To use my mom as an example, she grew up poor and even though by many measures she is financially secure now, there is still a part of her that will always worry that she will find herself in a position of lack. To alleviate that anxiety, she accepts anything that’s free, even if she doesn’t have a use or place for it. She’ll hold onto stuff “just in case” she needs it one day, and that makes her feel safe, prepared, and responsible. She’ll also buy multiples of products that are on sale, because she believes she’s getting a good deal on it. Everyone’s case is different, but to unpack the psychology behind clutter and shift from a scarcity to an abundance mindset requires a willingness to do the inner work.
Boss Up: What are your thoughts on why people create clutter?
Monica Lin: At its heart, clutter is the physical manifestation of delayed decisions and actions. The human brain wants to optimize pleasure and reduce pain, so if you think of decluttering as a joyless chore, you’re going to keep putting it off! I also think clutter builds up because most people struggle with a time deficit. We tell ourselves we will make time to think through a decision later, but our schedules keep filling up. To address that, I encourage my clients to carve out a time and commit to it.
Boss Up: Why is decluttering so hard?
Monica Lin: Decluttering is hard because it is confrontational. As you go through your items, you will likely come across past versions of yourself and that can bring up a lot of tough feelings. For instance, someone may look at an outfit they wore when they were skinnier, and they’ll struggle with feelings of shame for gaining weight or they may feel guilty about letting it go because they spent a lot of money on it or they may feel anxious at the thought of starting a health regimen that will help them fit back in that very outfit. All these emotions stacked on top of each other can be overwhelming and exacerbate decision fatigue. When you keep coming across items that suck up a lot of emotional energy, it’s natural to want to take a break or quit altogether. I think many people believe that it may be easier to live with the clutter than to experience the pain of decluttering. This is when having a professional organizer, who is not emotionally attached to your possessions, help break down your organizing project into manageable chunks and hold you accountable can be extraordinarily helpful. Additionally, working with a Clutter Coach can help you better understand the root causes of your clutter and transform your relationship with your things.
Boss Up: What’s next for Make Room By Monica? Any exciting offerings or events coming your way?
Monica Lin: Make Room by Monica will continue to help people enrich their lives by simplifying your space and I’m excited that I now have multiple ways of helping people–either via in-person organizing for folks based in the greater Los Angeles region or through virtual clutter coaching! The best way to stay abreast of my offerings and events is to follow me on Instagram @make_room_by_monica. You can also access other resources and contact me through my website, www.makeroombymonica.com Please feel free to reach out to me for all things decluttering and organizing. I’m SO excited to meet and work with you!
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