I can not believe that it has been TWO years since I first began this blog! Two years ago my publisher suggested that I start a blog when my first book was being released. Well, I wanted to come out with a bang so I decided to interview someone I truly admire…Peter Walsh. I was so excited the first time I ever spoke with him and the interview was a blast!
Now that I am ready to celebrate my two year anniversary I figured what better way to celebrate than to check in with Peter and let my readers know what he’s been up to. I mean let’s face it if you are reading an organizing blog you are probably at least a little curious about Peter 🙂 So here goes:
Jennifer: Peter, it has been awhile since we last spoke tell us what’s been going on?Peter: Well, I have a new show coming out on the OWN Channel, which Oprah is launching on January 1, 2011. My show Enough Already with Peter Walsh, premiers on January 3rd at 8pm EST. In the show I work with families and help people declutter their homes, as well as, their mental and emotional clutter. Eight episodes have been shot and you can go to Oprah.com for details.
Peter: This year I launched a whole new line of desk and board accessories called: You.Organize. On January 1st , 2011 I have 20 new products coming out!
Jennifer: Each time I speak with you I am impressed by how gracious and humble you are. How do you stay grounded and keep it all together?
Peter: This may sound flippen but I stay very, very organized. I make sure everything is managed very carefully. Clear files, trackable information and no loose ends. It can be very demanding but I am cautious and focused. I realized a couple of months ago I have one million frequent flyer miles! I have been traveling an immense amount.
I haven’t changed at all. I think people yearn for clarity. People want to be clear about things. Right now the thing that is making people nuts is that the state of our economy, society and govenment is UN-clear. I believe that being clear and honest is a fundamental way of behaving so no I don’t think I have changed at all ,this is just the way I interact with people. My job is very clear. The two tools I use are an outstretched hand and a mirror. My job is to hold up a mirror to people and ask the questions that they are too frightend or reluctant to ask themselves.
Peter: Of course! I think people use conflict the wrong way in this country. Conflict is a good and healthy thing if it is used with mutual respect and honesty.
Peter: The universe has a wonderful sense of humor! Another favorite quote of mine is “life is lived forward but understood backwards.” The work I do is a great intersection of the many things I have done in my life. I am very happy with the job that I have. I enjoy it enormously! It has been a process not a blinding moment. I feel like I have grown into it.
Peter: This is exactly what I talk about in my new book Lighten Up. You can’t have out of control consumerism and not have consequences. After 9/11 the President said “go out and shop.” This is our national state of mind! The health of the American economy is affected by this theory that if we are not spending we are not healthy. The mentality that we are given is “the kids with the most toys rule the sand box.” It’s no surprise that debt is a massive problem because we believe if we acquire a ton of stuff we can live a great life. You can choose to see this time in our economy as an opportunity to reassess where you are. It is your choice to learn from it or not. You can choose to live within the means of the life you have been given and like what you have. It is like your kitchen cupboards-they can only hold so many plates. Well, we only have so much spending power!
Peter: The moment you start using the word LATER you are in trouble! This word is one of the ways you say “I am betraying the life I have now!” You ONLY have the space you have now. You ONLY have the life you have NOW. It is an illusion to prepare for the future if it is at the detriment of your life now.
Peter: This is a very specific group of people. Hoarding always comes with some degree of a mental health issue. You have to be very careful to understand your professional skills. Not every mechanic can deal with every kind of car just like every Professional Organizer cannot deal with every kind of client. Know your expertise. Do you have access to a mental health support network? Do you have experience in this field? If you do not feel skilled or able, don’t take on the client
Peter: The work we do should be fueling our souls. Respect your limits. Do what you can when you can and let some of the other stuff go. There is a delicate balance with delegating and control. I struggle with that myself. Hand off things that aren’t the core of your business. You control the core.
Jennifer: Last time we spoke my book was just coming out and I’ll never forget the great advice you gave me. It has been two years now: my organizing business has grown and I am working on my third book. I work as a one woman show, except for my publisher, so sometimes I get overwhelmed with my responsibility eventhough I am living my dreams. What is your advice?
Jennifer: Obviously you are on the path that you were meant to live and using the skills you’ve always had, how and when did this amazing career of yours get started?