Are you ready to think outside the box, or demolish the box, and get creative to accomplish your goals? Would you like to be the person always coming up with innovative and new ideas to make your dreams a reality? Ready to clear some mental clutter so you can focus? Learn how to brainstorm to clear clutter and move forward.


I am excited for today because we are going to talk about brainstorming and mind mapping and getting creative.  I first used mind mapping with an energy healer I worked with to come up with ideas for my business. It is a fun way to get you thinking outside the box or eliminating the box completely. We are going to talk about some different ways to brainstorm.  Sometimes we can think in a really linear fashion and what I like about brainstorming it allows us to access a different part of our brain that can be crucial for supporting us in being successful.  A lot of times big ideas came for me in the shower, why mediating, while I am relaxed and not even thinking about the subject.  I have worked at stretching my brain so that it is easier for these ideas to drop in.

How to Brainstorm

If you haven’t done any brainstorming it might seem a little crazy. Some of your ideas can be crafted into creative solutions to a problem, or spark even more ideas. Brainstorming can get you unstuck by going outside your normal ways of thinking.  Don’t criticize during brainstorming or try and figure out why it couldn’t work. You’re trying to open up possibilities and break down assumptions about your problem’s limits. Judgment and analysis at this stage stunts idea generation and limit creativity.

Evaluate the ideas at the end of the session. If they can’t be done, cross them off your list.

Individual brainstorming is most effective when you need to solve a simple problem, generate a list of ideas, or focus on a broad issue. Group brainstorming is often more effective for solving complex problems.

Two men and a woman seated at a table having a business coaching session.
Brainstorming with a Group

Individual Brainstorming

When you do individual brainstorming, you don’t have to worry about others’ egos or opinions, and you can be freer and more creative.  However, you may not develop ideas as fully when you’re on your own, because you don’t have the wider experience of other group members to draw on.

Group brainstorming

Lay some ground rules!

Think about how much information you want to give to attendees prior.

Have one person write down ideas. Use a whiteboard, flip chart, or computer with a screen so everyone can see the ideas.

Clearly define the problem that you want to solve, and lay out any criteria that you must meet. Make it clear that that the meeting’s objective is to generate as many ideas as possible.

Have a comfortable, relaxed environment.  Try and have a diverse group of people for different viewpoints.

Be free and open in thought and have fun with it.  Call out any bad behavior like not participating, putting down an idea.

Once everyone has shared their ideas, start a group discussion to develop other people’s ideas, and use them to create new ideas.

Organized woman relaxed and drinking coffee
You won’t keep every idea you think of when brainstorming.

Encourage everyone to offer ideas and participate.  No judging of what anyone says.

When one member gets stuck, another member’s creativity and experience can offer other thoughts and solutions. You can develop ideas in greater depth with group brainstorming.

Another advantage of group brainstorming is that it helps everyone feel that they’ve contributed to the solution, and it reminds people that others have creative ideas to offer.

How will you brainstorm? Do you want to brainstorm by yourself or with a group? What will you brainstorm?


Here are some brainstorming techniques you can try out:

Teleporting Storming: Imagine that you were in a different place or a different time. Would you approach it differently if you were at the beach or outer space? What if you were 20 and open for more risk? Imagine it from an alternate perspective.

Figuring Storming: Can you imagine how someone else might tackle an issue, whether it’s a celebrity, an expert, your best friend or mentor?

Superstorming: If you could have any superpower, what would it be? How would your super power affect how you brainstormed?  

Medici Effect Storming: The Medici Effect describes how ideas might not be obviously related upon your initial thoughts. Seek out parallels to find commonalities. Maybe you have a goal of starting your own business looking at other business owners (even if it’s a different) can help you discover what they have in common.

Reverse Storming: How could I stop this goal from happening? What would you have to defeat?

mockup of white clipboard with blank paper
Write down all your ideas! Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Another technique I have used is a mastermind. I have a paper with pictures of all the members of my mastermind. Like Tesla, they don’t need to be alive and I don’t need to have ever met them. I ask my mastermind a question and see if anything pops into my head. 

I also keep a pen and paper by my bedside as I have found dreams to be very valuable. If something comes to me I can reach over and jot it down.

Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping helps you break large projects or topics down into manageable chunks, so that you can plan effectively without getting overwhelmed and without forgetting something important.

A good Mind Map shows the “shape” of the subject, the relative importance of individual points, and the way in which facts relate to one another.

Mind Maps are useful for:

  • Brainstorming
  • Summarizing information, and note taking.
  • Consolidating information
  • Thinking through complex problems.
  • Presenting information in a format that shows the overall structure of your subject.
  • Studying and memorizing information.
cluttered cramped workplace with typewriter papers
Drawing a Mind Map
Photo by Dimitry Anikin on

Drawing Basic Mind Maps

To draw a Mind Map:

1. Write the title of the subject you’re exploring in the center of the page, and draw a circle around it.

2. Next, create major subdivisions or subheadings of the topic (or important facts that relate to the subject) draw lines out from this circle. Label these lines.







3. Go deeper into the subject and uncover another level of information (further subheadings, or individual facts) belonging to the subheadings, draw these as lines linked to the subheading lines.

So, for example, under classes, I might have organizing, decluttering, mindfulness, and other professional organizers.

4. Then, for individual ideas, draw lines out from the appropriate heading line and label them.  So, from Organizing, I might have New Year, Garages, Closets, and Basements. Think of it as branches from a tree.

Brainstorming can be fun!

Tips for Brainstorming

  • Use Single Words or Simple Phrases –single strong words and short, meaningful phrases can convey the same meaning more potently. Excess words just clutter the Mind Map.
  • Use Color to Separate Different Ideas – This will help you to separate ideas where necessary. It also helps you to visualize the Mind Map for recall. Color can help to show the organization of the subject. I color code my dry erase board and it helps me memorize.
  • Use Symbols and Images – Pictures can help you to remember information more effectively than words, so, where a symbol or picture means something to you, use it.

Takeaways from today’s blogs on how to brainstorm:

  • Decide what brainstorming techniques you would like to try
  • Pick a team of trusted people to brainstorm with if you want to do some group
  • Commit to brainstorming weekly.  If you can do same time and day, even better as we get used to and do more efficiently

What topic can you use mind mapping for? What mind mapping techniques can you try? What brainstorming topic sound interesting? How can these techniques help you clear clutter?

Clear the Clutter Inside and Out Book
How to Declutter Your Life for Clarity

DIY Options to Clear Clutter

Join Our Community on Patreon:

Purchase Julie’s books on how to clear clutter from your life:

Subscribe to Clear Your Clutter Inside & Out Podcast

Check out more of my decluttering tips and how to get organized on my YouTube channel.