March 19, 2016

The Back-of-the-Closet Effect

If you’ve cleared away the obvious clutter that’s right in front of you, it might be time to go look at the back of the closet.

Go look at things you don’t look at everyday. Something can be clutter just because you haven’t seen it for so long that you’ve forgotten you have it.

What will you find in the back seat of your car?

The next clutter you find might be in a closet, in the basement or attic, or in the back seat of your car. There might be a box in a corner. Or maybe, just below the drawer you use every day, there is a drawer you never use.

To maximize your focus and results, look at just one place you haven’t seen in weeks and find out what’s there.

You’ll find things you need. It’s quite possible that you went out and bought more of them because you didn’t realize how much you had already.

In my basement I have a box packed with perfectly good summer clothing. I just need to remember it in May so I can use the clothing I have instead of going out to buy more.

In December I thought I had run out of AA batteries. It wasn’t until February that I found I had a few more of them in another part of the house.

These things take up space but you don’t get any benefit from having them until you remember that they’re there.

You’ll also find things you don’t need. These are things you couldn’t think of a use for, so you set them aside. If a year has passed and you still can’t think of a use for something, it’s now time to give it away, sell it, or throw it out.

It starts with knowing what you have. Pick a closet or a drawer, or another spot that you don’t look at very often, and find out what’s there.

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