I don’t know about you, but I generally feel that the kitchen has turned into a major battlefield of man/woman against the machine: so many gadgets are available on the market and it feels like a new one comes along every year to replace all the others – until next year! Let’s have a look at the stuff that sits in the modern kitchen!
Many people seem to have a problem with the idea of decluttering as it is often mixed up with the concept of ‘minimalism’. However, these are two completely different concepts.
Minimalism strikes fear into our collective hearts because it has become associated with the image of empty white living spaces that lack a certain, well…, comfy-factor; they feel like sterile showrooms and that puts most people off. Don’t get me wrong: this image is not what minimalism is all about at all, but it is the one that everybody seems to conjure up when minimalism is mentioned.
Let’s have a look at your desktop. Not the kind of desk you sit at, but the one on your computer screen, of course. What is left on your desktop can tell a lot about the kind of person you are in terms of filing.
Do you have a desktop full of files? Don’t worry, that is not necessarily a bad thing. If those files are the ones you currently use (and currently means: right now), that is fine. However, if many of those are just things you “temporarily” dumped there and never got rid of… it is time to revisit your filing strategies.
Instead of using your desktop as a temporary storage space to easily find things you download, think about creating a “temp” folder on your desktop to separate the real temporary stuff from the working files. Even better, place a link to your download folder onto your desktop, combining ease of access with a cleaner desktop. In any case, make sure to clean out your desktop regularly to maximise efficiency and stop losing time.
Most people find decluttering an office to be a chore rather than a challenge. It is an entirely different exercise from decluttering a home. Why is that so? Part of the answer lies in the idea of “emotional attachment”.
An office normally contains materials that are largely of a practical, useful nature, a lot of paperwork, usually things that can be separated into the basic categories of “in use”, “need to keep (legal obligation or for information purposes), “outdated” and “clearly rubbish”. I’m simplifying here, of course, but you get the idea. Rarely do we come across anything that cannot be classified with relative ease. It’s mainly a question of knowing what to keep and understanding what is useless. And yet… we procrastinate.
We’ve all been there: the bookcase is overflowing and we finally decide to go through the collection, only to end up with pretty much everything back in place, with only a slim volume of poetry ready to throw out. It always comes as a surprise just how many items we keep.
Some of you might realise that my approach is similar to the one for clothing, but books are a slightly different animal with a longer shelf-life than clothing. Also, unlike clothing where having several sets might be a good idea, having several books that tell us pretty much the same is just not necessary. Thus, while your bookcase needs a different approach than your wardrobe, in essence it works the same way if on a slightly longer time scale.
This is a question we should all ask ourselves, but rarely do! There is a fact of live we all have to face at some point – you will die one day. I’m not sure about you, but I sometimes wonder what happens next. And I’m not talking of the metaphysical aspect of death, I’ll leave that one to the spiritual leaders you are following. No, I’m talking about the sheer practicalities that need to be handled by your loved ones after you are gone.
Will your children or partner be able to find the necessary paperwork to handle your estate: a will, powers of attorney, mortgage papers, contracts, utility subscriptions, … ? What about your online presence: do you have a list of (current) passwords, including all the websites and networks you subscribe to?
Ask the ClutterMeister
Ideas to help clear away the mess in our homes and in our minds.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache and it is my mission to help my clients declutter mind and space. This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.