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Old 29th October 2006, 10:11 PM   #11
Wendy M.
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 3
Default What's Causing The Clutter?

As someone who struggles with clutter, my single biggest AHA! moment came when I encountered the concept of "visual organizers." I simply could not understand why I could never seem to conquer clutter until then.

IF you are a visual organizer, then you end up with piles of things that you need to "see." For me, if I can't "see" it, it vanishes. If I want to remember something, then I leave it out, for me to see and then there's something else I need to leave out, and something else, and so it goes... and suddenly it's a cluttered mess!

A good clue that you're a visual organizer is if you put things away so you can't see them, and it's as if it vanishes into a "black hole" of your mind -- it just doesn't 'exist' anymore ... until you see it again.

If you are a visual organizer, there's a couple of things you can do that will help the clutter problem.

First, things do need to have a "place" -- if there isn't a specific place to put it, then you'll just leave it out, so that you'll "remember" to put it away!

Second, when you do put things away, remember that you need a visual cue. You can put things into semi-transparent types of storage solutions -- so you can "see" what's inside but it's not cluttered. Label things. I label almost everything now. Generally, whenever I'm looking for ways to organize anything now, I keep in mind that I need to "see" it somehow.

For example, one thing I now do is use plastic accordian file organizers (like file folder portfolios with multiple pockets) for "projects" -- with file folders to break down the paperwork into categories. I use the plastic folders rather than the cardboard accordian folders because (and this is the really important part) I can label the plastic spine. So I have the best of both worlds -- my stack of papers is organized and hidden... and yet I can "see" it on the shelf.

Here's one more thing... for me, at least, the idea of working electronically and getting rid of paper simply does not work (I tried for years since so many say it's so much better to work on the computer...). On the computer screen, I can't "see" more than half a page at a time, and so that means that what is not visible "vanishes." Now, I use paper, I spread it all out around me if I need to see it all at once...

Basically, my biggest point is that what will REALLY work to clear up a clutter problem, whether it's a home office or anywhere else, is to have the RIGHT understanding of what is causing the clutter problem in the first place. Until you have that, any "solution" will be hit-and-miss.

Good luck with the clutter!

Wendy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
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