Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting Uncluttered

Clutter can slow down our work flow. This is one of those things that is common knowledge but what can we do to tame clutter?

We have to see it. This may sound simple at first but a lot of the time we are so used to our own clutter that it does not bother us. We have our system and we know where things are. Unfortunately having a desk overflowing with papers is a great way to lose some of them and while we might know where everything is on that desk we still have to dig through it to find it. We need to look at the place we spend our time with new eyes.

Do not get overwhelmed. It is easy to look at the clutter and feel defeated from the first moment we lay eyes on it. There can be so much it seems impossible to overcome. If you feel this way you can narrow your focus to one room at a time. If that proves to be too much tame a book cases this week and the desk the next. If you are going to do one step at a time make sure you do not move the clutter from one place to another. If an area is decluttered it may not receive new clutter.

Clean it up. Once you see the clutter you can clean up the space. Make the cluttered are look the way you want it to. This may be a simple as putting the cluttering objects in their place or it may go as far as creating new place to put things. Either way make your space look the way you want it to.

Find the source. Now we want to know what normal should look like we need to figure out where the clutter is coming from. Do we have work papers that pile up, is it our comic book collection that winds up everywhere or maybe it is cat toys that litter the floor? No matter what it is we have to figure out where the clutter is coming from.

Make new habits. Mostly we will find that in some way we are responsible for the clutter. Since we already have the space looking the way we want it we now need to create habits that will keep it this way. We need to get in the habit of putting those comic books back in the box when we are done with them or maybe get a box where we can put the unread issues while we work our way through them. Once they are read we can file them away before next week's shipment arrives. This sort of process can work with junk mail work papers whatever it is. We have created a place to put things in step two now we just need to be in the habit of putting things there.

One last note on the problem of clutter is not just confined to our homes. We may have clutter in our backpacks and hand bags, our computers and cell phones, or even in our own thoughts and emotions. We can tackle any kind of clutter by fallowing this method whether it is electronic, emotional or physical. It is a matter of identifying, organizing and maintaining. Now this sounds simplistic it is not. Just because the steps can be conveyed in three words finding place for things may be a system of trial and error, building new habits takes time and tracking down the source, well look at how long it took to find the birth place of the Nile.

Clutter can be beaten but we have to start the fight because the clutter won't clear its self.

Editing project: Learning To Succeed


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