Wednesday, July 8, 2009

6 tips for riding yourself of clutter before a clean install

Well, here you are, ready to tackle on the challenge of beginning a new chapter in your existence. You’ve left behind all your fears and what was holding you back, and finally you have seen in your bright future what you want to do for the rest of your life. The only thing that stands between you and your dreams is… your cluttered desktop.

Or perhaps a messy laundry room is what stops you, or instead a kitchen turned permanent disaster zone. The fact is clutter doesn't help you to leave your current life trend behind. It sounds funny and almost unbelievable, but you know every time you see that mess all over your tables or your floor your enthusiasm dies a little more.

As with every change, you can find yourself resisting to accept the fact that you can be very disorganized, but if you have already swallowed the awful truth, here are some tips to begin a life of uncluttered existence:
  1. Know which cluttered space holds you back the most. If you are looking for a new career as a recording musician or as a freelance developer, for instance, chances are the area surrounding your computer is the one you need in perfect harmony. For an aspiring crafts or auto expert, the garage is what needs to be clean and pleasant. Identify which place is the one that needs to be pristine for your life reboot.

  2. Choose a system. Many people before you has walked the uncluttering road, and some of them have made almost an art of it. Take some time to research on the many organization systems developed by professionals. The most popular is by far David Allen's Getting Things Done. It can look intimidating at first, but the trick is tuning this or any other system to your specific needs.

  3. Have a strong will to get rid of the non-useful or disposable things. It's almost ridiculous how we stay attached to useless stuff. How many ornaments do you have over your desk? Are they so many you can't put over its surface a regular paper notebook? You'll never know how much space you really have until you have thrown off all the extra stuff.

  4. Invest in organization. Maybe you have the space needed for all your things, but you will not know until you get some storage solutions. A drawer unit, a cabinet or even a few shelving boxes in the right place can do wonders for when it comes to keep your new work esentials at hand, and will help you to keep surfaces clean of objects otherwise without a home.

  5. Aim to be comfortable. If you are turning to illustration or some other artistic occupation, your small counter table will not do it, unless you also have some Cirque Du Soleil acrobatic skills. Try to keep in mind ergonomics and freedom of movement when you plan your workspace redesign.

  6. Keep it that way. How many times have you cleaned your desk, just to find it cluttered again by the end of the day? If you managed to give all of your stuff an adequate place for storage, you'll find your tables and floors will remain free almost 24/7, only by putting things back in their places when not in use. Try not to remember your mother telling you to pick up all your toys... you might resist to do it unconsciously.
Try and experiment the feeling of finding your workplace tidy and ready for your clean install adventure. Compare that sensation with the one you had when the place was a mess, and you will know how different it feels. You'll be absolutely amazed!

Photo by naddl79.

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