Here’s something important I learned 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.
So when I sort through items with clients on organizing jobs, I solve this problem by making a to-do list of all those tasks. For example, there might be clothes laying in a heap in the closet because they need to go to the dry cleaners. I write “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 old radio gathering dust 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 together, we sort the tasks into categories. All of the errands to run outside of the house are grouped together. All of the tasks that involve a computer or internet connection are grouped together. I have found it’s MUCH easier to get To Do list tasks done when we can do the tasks in “batches.” It just goes so much faster that way.
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 nagging tasks out of their head and onto paper. It also gets that “tough-to-discard” clutter out of their homes once and for all!
You might try sorting through your own things with a clipboard 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.
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