A FEW MONTHS AGO, I promised myself that I would snap and save a shot from the inside of my very cluttered home office. I haven't done that because it's too embarrassing so I'm using a six-year-old picture that can be easily serve as a suitable alternative. I know it's a huge accomplishment to declutter an entire home and probably beyond my capabilities. So I'm going to focus on the home office, under the stairs, the garage and the kitchen drawers during the summer of 2011. For this resolultion to work, I'm following some clear rules, policies, and tricks to ward off the excess stuff that currently plagues me. I'm inspired by Lifehacker. And for my work colleagues who also read this blog, I'd appreciate getting this post printed out and put onto my work desk. That will prod me to clean my bookshelves and under-desk area. I know clutter at the office affects my work performace.
Here are policies I'm invoking to keep a better handle on clutter creep.
-- When I get something new, I will get rid of something old. That rule works when I'm traveling with a small baggage allowance. It ought to work with limited shelf space too. I really don't want to accept something that just doesn't fit into available space.
-- Tag idle objects with expiration dates. This is going to hurt because I have some things that I believe deserve status as historical artefacts. However, I am annotating dates in my Nokia E7 calendar where I'm forced to look at the object and to ask myself whether I've used the object in the fortnight before the calendar reminder rings. If I haven't the item has to leave.
-- I have pledged not to buy anything new until I've allowed a 48-hour cooling off period. That has helped control my consumerism as well.
-- I'm am trying to get organised in other ways. Our refrigerator is starting to look like a military formation with the big things in the back and smaller things up front. Our kitchen drawers will look like a dentist's surgery when I'm finished with them. My clothing shelves will have everything arranged by colour just like in a clothes shop.
And when I've a success story, I'll snap and share. My first sharing date is 9 June 2011. You're invited in for a peek online or at the house. We should have a new set of feet joining us then.
Adam Dachis -- "How to De-Crapify Your Home" on Lifehacker, May 24, 2011.
Previously on this blog: "The Clutter Gene" on April 6, 2009.