March 05, 2021

Clearing Clutter to Save Time

March of Trash asks you to take action on clutter every day for a month.

If you are busy every day, the time pressure changes your clutter clearing priorities.

The most common mistake people make when taking on clutter is to focus most of their effort on making things look better. It’s true that clutter can look awful, but it is unlikely that you are facing anything so ugly as being inder time pressure day after day.

If you are busy, you already don’t have much time for clutter on any given day. When you can look at clutter, look for the changes you can make that will save you time in the short run.

All clutter is an obstacle eventually in one way or another, so all clutter clearing fress up time in the future — but some clutter clearing can free up time sooner. It makes a difference today, tomorrow, or next week. It can reduce the pressure you may have come to take for granted as part of your routine.

  1. First look for anything you know you need today or in the near future. Among all your clutter clearing objectives, these are the ones you know you have to do. Anytime things are missing among your stuff, that is a clutter problem. Feel free to address other clutter you find as you are searching, but avoid getting so caught up in the things you find that you forget that you are looking for something with a deadline attached.
  2. Next, look at the items that present the greatest obstacles as you move about during the day. If there is one particularly time of day that is especially busy or stressful for you, pay special attention to obstacles that could slow you down during that time.
  3. See what you can do about anything that is a frequent nuisance. The routine obstacles that steal the largest amount of itme from us can become invisible to us just because they are so routine, so try to take an objective or outsider point of view to find these recurring obstacles. Look for ways to streamline things so that you do not lose time unnecessarily on small recurring problems that could easily be solved.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clutter, but try not to venture very deep into the rest of your clutter at this point. Do the things you can in your clutter to relieve the pressure on your time, and then you will have more time to look at the other clutter.

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