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  • Just getting started

    Okay,


    I've run into a little snafu with the initial collection. My house is such a complete clutter fest that I would fill up a room or two with the amount of stuff I'd have to collect. Do I just start with the small stuff and write down the bigger things? Do I create projects out of each room? I'm overwhelmed and I haven't even really begun. Anybody else have similar issues?

  • #2
    If you have some idea what's in a particular area, you can simply write "empty and process files from closet" on your project list, "@Errand buy bigger waste basket" on your NA list, and move on.

    If you *don't* know what's in an area, you'll need to do at least enough processing to figure out whether it can be ignored safely. If you've got a big pile of unopened mail, for instance, you might want to do at least enough sorting to pull out bills, checks, and other urgent items.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Welcome to the forum! I think we can help. FYI, that overwhelmed feeling is completely normal when you get started.

      I suggest that you do not try to pre-sort or pre-organize your stuff. Walk into a room with unprocessed stuff, pick up something unprocessed, and process it right then and there. Here's a simplified decision formula:
      1. Do you need to take an action as a result of this item? (Example: a flyer for a concert you want to attend) If so, take the item with you to your system, and add an appropriate Next Action and Project as appropriate. If the action can be completely, entirely done in under two minutes, like a candle you've been meaning to set out on a coffee table, just do it right then.
      2. Do you want to keep the item? If so, put it in a filing cabinet, or in its appropriate long-term storage location.
      3. If you're still holding onto the item, throw it away.

      Congratulations! That room now has less clutter. Repeat for something else in the room, and continue until you run out of time, or you've processed everything in the room that needs to be processed. Then move on to the next room.

      That make sense?
      Last edited by Brent; 06-17-2008, 08:46 PM. Reason: Converted numbered list into actual HTML numbered list

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jblake View Post
        Okay,


        I've run into a little snafu with the initial collection. My house is such a complete clutter fest that I would fill up a room or two with the amount of stuff I'd have to collect. Do I just start with the small stuff and write down the bigger things? Do I create projects out of each room? I'm overwhelmed and I haven't even really begun. Anybody else have similar issues?
        I had a slew of clutter, primarily paperwork, from an old business that had been taking up space in a storage space I paid for monthly for quite a long time. I basically split everything up into boxes and then labeled each box with a letter (you may get to double-letters, as I did.) Then all boxes but one were put on a someday maybe list, but one: "process box A". You don't have to go through the boxes in alphabeticaly order; if you know what should be taken care of first, do that. Only until I put it in my s/m and project lists and began taking care of box by box like this on a weekly basis, did it not stress me out. I'm finding that most of the paperwork can be thrown or shredded, yet there are a few valuable papers here and there I need to keep.

        Just list on your someday/maybe (s/m) list what you think should be taken care of. You don't need to box them. You can sort them by type of item, by room, by section of room, etc. For example, I have "clean attic" on my s/m list. I know I'll make that active when I have the time and energy - it's not stressing me. If its a mountain of stuff, you'll feel better once you have identified it as something to take care of and once you know you are continuously processing some of it. Pick the stuff you need to do first (ex: gather all mail and sort it; gather all newspapers and recycle; gather all clothes and put for laundry; clear the top of the dresser).

        My mountain of old business boxes has become a hill and is taking up less space in the garage. I take care of a box weekly and it feels good.

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