Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Question - I have papers and books all over my desk, papers and what-nots on my bookshelf, what-nots and stuff on the credenza, books and more papers on the floors and chairs. How do I clear off all of these surfaces that seem to attract clutter?

Answer - Clutter magnets are the places that tend to attract clutter.  Empty surfaces (tabletops, cleaned off desks, bookshelves, counter tops) tend to become clutter magnets, because we think “I’ll just put this item there for right now.”   The problem is, right now can turn into forever if you don’t pay careful attention:

a) make the time to pick up behind yourself, and
b) consistently put things in the correct place.

But what if there’s no place for these “temporary” items?

Establish a place for everything.  How?  By simply making a decision as to what belongs where.  Ask yourself the question, “If everything were in the right place, where would these things go?” Then begin the process of putting everything in the place you decided.  How do you do that?  One step at a time.  One item at a time.  This is the process you need to do to un-clutter the clutter magnets.

The first step is to take the wrong things away.  Take the papers off the bookshelf, and put them in a “papers to sort” area.  Take the what-nots off of the credenza.  Take everything away that doesn't belong, and leave only the correct things in place.  Organize each place individually so that everything is in its place.


The best solution is to put things in the correct place right away.  Then you don’t have to worry about picking up behind yourself.

Have a terrific day!

Marsha Sims

P. S. If you have a question that you would like for me to answer in this blog, you can send me an email, or post in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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