Domestic CEO Amanda Thomas joins Get-It-Done Guy to discuss tips and techniques for how to deal with clutter in your home and office once and for all.
Both Amanda and I abhor clutter. Of course, you’d never know it from one look around our offices. In fact, part of why we’ve each developed such good clutter coping skills is that it’s a never-ending battle to keep the clutter at bay.
Click the Play button in the upper right hand corner of this page to hear our discussion about the best ways to combat clutter in your home or office. You'll learn the following:
Why Clutter Is So Bad
You’ll be mazed to hear this, but studies have shown that people spend anywhere from 14 to 60 minutes per day searching for things. What a huge waste of time!
People spend anywhere from 14 to 60 minutes per day searching for things!
Clutter also encourages multi-tasking, which has been shown time after time to hurt productivity. Clutter also encourages prioritization-by-visibility, instead of prioritization-by-any-reasonable-method.
Lastly, clutter creates mental stress and feelings of guilt. And no, even creative types don’t really benefit from clutter. There’s a big difference between being a visual worker and having clutter. Having things in your visible space that aren’t related to what you’re doing at the moment still creates the clutter effect.
How to Cope with Clutter
Start small! Clear clutter in one small area, celebrate the win, then move on to bigger items. Initially, just focus on purging stuff you don’t need to keep. Rooms may look completely different just by throwing out the trash.
Touch each piece of paper only once. Decide what to do with it, then file it or throw it away. Deciding what to do doesn’t mean you have to deal with it in that moment; it may mean filing it in a tickler file, or putting it in a “current projects” file along with adding a task to your to-do list saying “file form XYZ.”
Deal with small, pervasive clutter first. The trick here is to give all items a home. So if loose change is bogging down your kitchen counter, declare an official change bowl and simply move all loose change into that bowl. Easy!
Use the Pay or Throw Away technique: Pay yourself (or your kids, or a charity, or whoever) $5 for every thing you keep, and nothing for the stuff you throw or give away. This tactic forces you to assign a value to keeping clutter around as part of your life and makes you think twice about holding onto those torn socks or out-of-shape paper clips..
For more on how to get rid of your clutter permanently, check out episode 107 of the Domestic CEO's show, How to Clear Your Clutter Once and for All.
And tune in next week for Part 2 of this series with Stever and Amanda!