Clear the Clutter Out of Your Life
Organize and simplify your life for better emotional health.
De-Clutter Your Desk and Work Space
Whether you work from a home office or a tiny cubicle, there’s no way you
can be totally productive in a space that doesn’t function for you. “I have
never actually met anybody who is extremely successful who works in absolute
chaos,” says Ellis.
Sure, everyone has a junk drawer or a messy desk on occasion, but if your
clutter is taking over, it’s time to scale back.
When Nwogugu tackled her home office with a very organized friend, they
compiled three separate stashes: what to keep, what to shred (sensitive
information), and what to just throw away.
Follow a similar routine working from desk to files to shelves. Clear
everything off and sort into appropriate stacks. Use file folders, three-ring
notebooks, or magazine sorters to hold important papers. And immediately pitch
what you don't need. Get creative with containers. Coffee mugs and decorative
boxes hold everything from paper clips and tacks to business cards and
Look toward vertical wall space as a new storage solution. “We tend to make
piles,” says Ellis. But piles are hard to address and papers within them become
hidden. You can’t pay a bill or return an important message if it’s hidden at
the bottom of a stack on your desk.
Instead, option wall space. Set bills in a hanging bin, keys on a hook,
magazines in wall hangers. Now you can see and reach items easily.
Clean Out Clothing Skeletons in Your Cluttered Closet
If closets are your nemesis and yours could rival Vogue’s accessory
closet, you’ll need to spend some time getting down and dirty. The first step
to cleaning a closet is to take everything out. Then you can see what you have.
Often you’ll need to purchase storage boxes or organizing bins, shoe holders,
or shelving. Don’t forget plastic garbage bags for trash and donations. Have a
few bins or boxes for items that don’t really belong in the closet but will be
moved elsewhere. Be realistic. Do you really need or want each item?
Ellis’ mantra is, “If you haven’t seen it, needed it, or worn it in one
year, get rid of it.”
Nwogugu’s friend had three questions when they came to every piece of
clothing: Does it fit? Have you worn it in the last 12 months? Is there some
sentimental value strong enough to keep it? If the answers are no, toss
it in one of three options -- in a bag for charity, to sell at a garage sale or
on eBay, or for the trash heap.
Nwogugu went through the same procedure for her husband’s clothes and shoes
as well as her children’s. “By the time we were done with clothing, we
had over 15 hefty trash bags of stuff for Salvation Army.”