This is the truest enemy of all your goals. Almost every consultation starts with de-cluttering your space. Whether it is in the business or the home, de-cluttering will prove results faster than any other step. Clutter will make small tasks seem overwhelming, productivity will seem impossible, and happiness will be at an all-time low if the clutter is bad enough. If you ever feel overwhelmed with any task, however big or small, stop and look around. Take the time to de-clutter. There are many methods of doing this, but I personally recommend that you use the Three (3) Box Method. It’s easy and simple… all you need are three bags, boxes, or piles.
Take three boxes and label them “Trash” “Donate” “Keep”. Then begin working around the space to put the cluttered items in the appropriate box. Remember, Rome was not built in a day, so try not tackle clutter in one session. I’ll explain later why. Upon completion, immediately throw the “trash” items away, drive to the nearest donation location and provide your “donate” box. I usually go to Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Then put all the items in the “Keep” box in the RIGHT PLACE. No putting the box under the table or in the closet. By the end you should not have the actual box itself anymore. If you still have your keep box after a week, transition it to “Donate”.
There are more detailed steps when it comes to the keeping photos, items, or Knick knacks, but that can be found in my De-Cluttering book. Click here to purchase and download.
Internally your body feels the weight of all the items in the space. Your subconscious can tell what is organized and what isn’t, what is in its right place, and what isn’t. This takes up mental space where your productivity and happiness and goals should be. This is energy your body is utilizing when it should be focused on the task at hand. De-cluttering eases the subconscious, provides a peace of mind and allows you to focus again and have clear goals as well as a system to get there.
Make no mistake, sometimes this can be the hardest step. Aside from hoarders, the standard person has a difficult time letting go of items, not because of the item itself, but because of the memory the item holds. Don’t let this feeling control you anymore. Take your power back; Overcome it and clean your space, clean your drawers, and clean your closets. After de-cluttering productivity quickly begins to rise, and you can be back on your way to getting your work done, or begin relaxing with a true uninhibited peace of mind.
Lastly, clutter always has a way of returning. De-cluttering is NOT a set it and forget it tactic. It’s a continuous process that requires you to be mindful of your environment and recognizing when clutter has become too much to bear. The best practice is to de-clutter your work space before you go home, and to de-clutter your space before you leave for work. Having a system of organization helps mitigate the chances of clutter return, but a system is only as good as you are to following it, so make sure whatever system you create that it works for YOU. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but when you’re continuously dropping the ball, at least you will have a piece of mind that you have a system in place that you know will get you back on track.
We all go through clutter seasons… it’s how you deal with your new found awareness and personal power over this clutter that makes a difference.
My last tip: Whenever you bring a new item into your home, small or big get rid of at least two items. So for every one item you bring home get rid of two items immediately to gain control over your clutter.