You know what they say about bartenders and hair stylists -- anything you tell them will remain a secret, never to be shared with others. Well, in my case my movers fall into the “don’t tell” category. Recently we moved 2 times in 4 months (long story for another blog), and each time we moved, my bedroom closet got smaller and smaller. Let me backtrack -- the custom home we originally purchased in Sour Lake had a dream closet. No seriously - I’m pretty sure the closet was designed to be a small study off of the entryway, but the house plans were changed and that room became a HUGE master bedroom closet. And although Scott and I “shared” the closet, I pretty much used most of the space. As a lover of shoes and clothes, it didn’t take me long to fill up my space and even move into Scott’s. I organized everything by color or style, and getting dressed in the mornings became a true joy. But then we decided to move back to Houston and downsize (to eventually build our dream home on our retirement land -- just wait for that closet design!), and the new house had a much smaller closet. But burying your head in the sand is easy to do, so I decided to just take ALL my shoes and clothes and try to make everything fit into my much smaller closet. The day the movers arrived to pack our stuff, one guy went to the closet and packed box after box labeled “Julie’s shoes” or “Julie’s clothes.” The next day, as the guys loaded those many “Julie” boxes into the moving truck, there was a quick glance and an understanding nod to signal that they would NEVER share the number of “Julie” boxes loaded and unloaded that day. But you know where the story is going -- I quickly discovered that the smaller closet would never hold all of my stuff, and the time had come to take my head out of the sand and get rid of unneeded shoes and clothes. But do you know how hard it was to get rid of those cute-gray-houndstooth-sling-back pumps, even though I never really had anything to wear with them? And realizing that I would never wear that black Casual Corner skirt that got me two different jobs was heartbreaking. But I persisted, and after reliving a few memories and shedding a few tears, I finally could shut the closet door. Then … we had to move again. And guess what? This closet is even smaller than the last one! Arghh!! The trend of decluttering, simplifying, and getting rid of stuff is super popular at the moment, and becoming a minimalist is the hip way to live. But I believe that as long as you have space for storage and even a slight need for the stuff, it’s fine to keep it. The problem occurs when you don’t have the space or the need or if your stuff becomes the most important things in your life. That’s when you have to weed some things out. The same can be said for communication. There are times when less is more, and you need to be willing to clean out your communication “closet” and get rid of some stuff. As emails become the most common communication source professionally and personally, we all can become overwhelmed by the number of emails sent during a day. And when we open an email that is paragraph after paragraph of information, we tend to skim and scan and possibly miss important details. Or worse … we don’t even read the lengthy email! Work to clean out your emails and texts. Always strive to be specific and detailed to insure that your communication message is understood, but save your long funny story for a face-to-face encounter or concisely summarize the information from a long meeting or report and offer the detailed meeting minutes or multi-page report for anyone who requests more information. Another tip is to send multiple shorter emails instead of one long email. By dividing a message into smaller parts, you can be very specific and send the information based on the timing of the tasks. etc Strategies believes that when you work to concisely present information in an email, there is a much greater chance that the recipients will read and more importantly, understand your message. And perhaps if you model this communication “weeding,” others will follow and also work for more concise emails. Now back to my shoes and clothes … although it was really hard to weed out my stuff, I did discover things I had totally forgotten about and other items that had come back into style again. So maybe a smaller closet isn't so bad, but I do have a confession to make -- I did buy another black skirt -- and it fits just fine in the closet!!