Last week, I signed up for a 31 Day De-Cluttering Challenge. After about the third day, I unsubscribed, not because I didn’t think it was useful, but because I just plain couldn’t keep up. Some people don’t seem to be bothered by clutter but it is something that really stresses me out. Fortunately, I am learning some small ways to address it.
Clutter in the Home
Have I told you I love having my children home with me? I totally do! My only real complaint is the mess. When I was working full-time, I left the house fairly clean in the morning and it was still like that when I got home at night. Now, when I clean the house, I can’t seem to tidy a second room without a tornado whipping through the first. I can’t fault my kids because they are imagining, building, creating and having fun! This is exactly what I want but it drives me crazy nonetheless. Thankfully, the kids are getting older and I am able to recruit them for clean-up duty!
Clutter in the Office
Most home-based businesses have on-going tasks. My husband and I both need to see things in order to keep on top of them. Filed documents usually end up being forgotten. This means we both tend to operate with covered desktops, open files and well-placed post-it notes. I’m working on switching as much as I can to Evernote and I love the concept. I’m still having trouble with out-of-sight/out-of-mind but smartphone reminders for specific tasks are helping. Someday, I WILL have a clean desktop!
Clutter in the Inbox
Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll give you something for free. Who doesn’t like to get something for nothing? The allure of these offers is often irresistible and the free downloads are often really good. However, the junk mail that follows, sometimes several times a day, adds more clutter and eats up valuable time when we check our ever-growing email. Recently, I’ve narrowed down my To-Learn list to one topic, decided on lists to keep and unsubscribed from the rest. I’m also learning to use those filters that file email as they arrive. Yes, I’m terrified I will miss something, but my incoming mail is now very relevant and coming in at a pace I can manage.
Clutter in the To-Do List
I’ve always been a multi-tasker. As I age, I’m realizing this strategy isn’t as effective as it used to be. Productivity experts are telling us, too, that at we are much more efficient if we focus on one item at a time. When I concentrate on one project and complete it, I am able to cross it off my list. That gives me a sense of satisfaction which helps me move confidently on to the next thing. Of course, there are always going to be multiple projects on the go but prioritizing, working diligently and eliminating time-wasters (surfing Facebook?) can keep the list manageable.
So what should we do about all this clutter? Could it be just the stage of life we are in? The lifestyle and work we’ve chosen? The fact that we have young, creative children at home? While I am taking small steps to reduce clutter in certain areas of my life, maybe I’ll just embrace the rest.
I would love to hear if you have dealt with the issue of clutter. Does it affect you or can you ignore it?