Loving our Rooms, an Interview with Lisa Baldwin

February 27th, 2010

To close out the month of home for the Creative Every Day Challenge, I'm so thrilled to be able to share this interview with the super smart, funny, and lovely Lisa Baldwin of Zen at Play. Check out her awesome clutter-clearing advice below and her super cool Love that Room e-course!

1. Please introduce yourself:

Hi! I'm Lisa, and I help people make space for their awesomeness.

2. What led you into the work of helping people with their clutter?

I got interested in clutter because I had a lot of it. As I cleared, I noticed unexpected benefits that went way beyond just having a tidier house - it can be a journey of discovery and an act of self-care, and creating a less crowded environment makes way for better things. It didn't seem right to keep all that a secret, so I set about finding ways to teach others and that became my work.

3. I used to use the excuse that I'm artist as a reason for my messiness. Do you think there's a correlation between creativity and a messy house?

Ooh, the answer to this question could be a whole post. So many layers! So many angles!

Active mess is a side-effect of living and is a part of the creative process. If you've got a creative, busy mind, then that can certainly result in something that looks a lot like mess. In that sense, I do think there's a correlation between mess and creativity.

At the same time, there's a difference between that active, creative, happy mess and the passive, stagnant, stuckifying kind of mess that is clutter. (Clutter isn't necessarily messy, by the way, but that's a different question. See? Layers! Angles!) That kind of stuff hinders creativity by sucking up your energy and attention, so there's a relationship there, but not a happy one.

The trick is to determine the level of mess that feels good to your creative self, and then set up helpful systems and habits that support you in maintaining that. If your way of being tends to create mess, then run with it - just be sure to keep that mess fresh by letting go of that which no longer serves you.

Did I answer your question? I answered something, that's for sure. I really need to write a post about this.

4. The theme this month at Creative Every Day is home. Do you have any tips for bringing more creativity into your home?

Create space for what you love. Hold it high. That's all.

5. What's one small, simple thing we could try at home to enjoy our space more?

Recognise your treasures, then love them up. Some things you own light up your life with their beauty, meaning or usefulness. Other things just sit around taking up space and blocking your view of the good stuff. Once you know what your treasures are, treat them as such - put them where you can see them, take care of them, appreciate them - and create more space for them by letting go of the other stuff.

6. I love the name of your online course, "love that room." Could you talk a bit about what the class involves?

Love That Room is a clutter-clearing adventure where we focus on loving up just one room. (You know, that room.) It starts with seeing - really seeing - the space, then gently letting go of the stuff that no longer serves us. There's private blog where course-doers can download exercises, support each other, ask questions, celebrate wins and check in for gentle accountability. It's definitely not a scary bootcamp course - it's all about mindful interaction with your self and your stuff, so it's pretty special. I just opened up registrations for the next offering (starting March 22) and you can take a peek here.

7. Do you think focusing on clearing clutter in one room at a time is the way to go? And how do you deal with clutter overwhelm?

I like to focus on one room at a time because I like to set up a series of small, easy wins. Clutter can be so overwhelming when you look at it all at once, because we tend to think of it all as one big thing - The Clutter! [cue ominous music]. But it's not a big thing - it's a gathering of many little things, and little things we can handle.

8. Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Just that I'm so happy that you invited me to hang out on your lovely blog with your lovely people. Thank you! *waves to Leah's lovely people*

9. Where can people find you?

I have the beginnings of a blog over at ZenAtPlay.com and there's a newsletter there too. I'm an enthusiastic Twitterer - @zenatplay. (Let it be noted that I don't often talk about clutter on Twitter - I'm more likely to do magic tricks and show off my Wonder Woman underwear. Just so you know.)


Thank you so much, Lisa for sharing your awesomeness!!

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by RecoveringSlob: Loving our Rooms, an Interview with Lisa Baldwin | Creative Every Day http://bit.ly/cWxjMc…

Leah, your sweet and creative nature lends a perfect interview style to this wonder we call @zenatplay (Lisa B!) Like a helpful conversation with two playmates, there’s so much to love in Lisa’s answers: clarity, support, kidding, ominous music ~ !

The surprising thing is my attraction to Lisa’s LOVE THAT ROOM program, and my insistence that I don’t need it… and how her smart distinction between “a creative mess” and dead piles of stuff really hit home.

I’ll spare your readers the details of getting stopped in the middle of my January home-office sort, but jeeze, it’s nearly MARCH! I’ve got dust on my “active sort” piles! Today just got reskedded into “Love THIS Room” day (with maybe some sushi delivery thrown in) and for that, I thank you Leah — thank you for your lovely interview where Lisa B gets to remind me: I can’t just talk it, I gotta also walk it (whether others are listening/watching or not.)

Big props to you big hearts ~


Thanks for this Leah. I can use all of the advice I can get on decluttering.:-)

Thanks for a great interview…I have too much clutter, that I used to think was just a creative mind…but I think I just have too much stuff. I need to work on clearing some stuff out…that is my project for this summer.

This is pure deliciousness.

Lisa, you are the epitome of fabulousness. I loved every single thing you said.

And this part?

Create space for what you love. Hold it high.

I want to tattoo that on my arms. Where I can see it every single day.

Thanks Lisa. Thanks Leah. You both rock.

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