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A neato little organizing secret

by respaced on October 11, 2011

Here’s a little secret about organizing: Often in a person’s home, piles build and stuff doesn’t get put away because there are tasks associated with that stuff that need to be done. The clutter isn’t so much a space management issue as it is a time management issue.

When I work with clients, I solve this problem by making a to-do list of all the actions required by the objects as we sort everything. For example, there might be clothes laying in a heap in the closet, because they need to go to the dry cleaners. I put “Take clothes to dry cleaners” on the to-do list, and we put the clothes in a bag near the door. There might be an unused radio sitting on a shelf, because it needs to be recycled. I write “Take radio to be recycled at ….” on the to-do list, and we put the radio by the door as well.

Then I give the to-do list to the clients at the end of the session. Clients find this list helpful, because it allows them to get all of those tasks that nag at them out of their head and onto paper. It also gets that “tough to discard” clutter that has has often been sitting around a long, long time out of their homes. The list becomes a plan for moving forward.

You might try sorting through your own things and making a to-do list. Create a spot in your home for items associated with the to-do list, and whittle that pile down as you scratch things off the list. It’s a time management trick that will greatly help you with your space management.

Image courtesy of Perfecto Insecto at Flickr.

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