Goals - De-Cluttering

Goals - Part 1

Whenever I think of goal setting, I think of de-cluttering. It’s hard to start out the year fresh with a desk full of papers, an office full of boxes, a house full of stuff. I’ve moved five times in the past seven years, so de-cluttering my house is not all that hard because I have to do it for each move (okay, so after the first two, I made myself do it for each move ). But even I find myself stacking things here and there to be dealt with later. The task of de-cluttering can be very daunting, so my suggestion is to do it in stages.

Today, pile all those papers sitting on your desk into a box and set it next to your office chair. Done! Today, you can write, read, play, etc. without any stress.

Now tomorrow, go through the box. If you have more than one box of papers, do one box a day. I know, I know. Sounds way too easy and honestly, just saying it IS the easy part. It’s sitting on the floor, scattering these papers out next to you, and putting them in a file folder that’s the hard part. But it can be done, one box at a time.

When the box(s) of papers are put away, you can start on the boxes cluttering up your office. Again, do one box a day. Then move onto the next room. Breaking it up into little sections help a lot.

For a great blog post on de-cluttering, check out Joann Rock’s post at the Author MBA blog dated Wednesday, November 30th. She has some great things to say about A Writer’s Guide to Holiday Stress.

Tell me about your de-cluttering stories. Is it as simple as I’ve tried to make it sound???


Devon Gray said...

I am big on organization. What I want to know is...how do you keep the other people in the house from making messes faster than you can clean them up?! I believe it is an exercise in futility!

Tami Brothers said...

Ahhhh yes. That is the question of the century.

I too have this problem. It doesn't matter how often I clean, my son has a knack for making it look worse than before I started. Sadly, I can’t give any illuminating answers for this.

Thankfully, the boy is at an age where we've come to an agreement of sorts. He can stack his things on the coffee table. Only the coffee table. Anywhere else is off limits. On Friday, he has to put it all away and then again on Sunday evenings (unless I just can’t tolerate the pile before then). So far, this has worked for us. I’ve had to bite my tongue a few times and remind myself that he needs to have his things accessible, too. (Currently biting tongue as I type)

That’s my brilliant wisdom on this matter. Of course, my house is very small, so it works.

Thanks for posting Devon. Love the YouTube links you put up on blog….


Walt M said...

I think one point is being missed here. Tami, you are talking about kids. Devon's comments leave open the possibility of a spouse being one of the problems. My wife feels that I leave stuff all over the house as well, or I organize it by leaving it in piles.

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Walt,

Yes, this is very true. I should address that 'issue' as well.

Unfortunately, I again have no answers on this. Maybe being a guy, you can give us a better insight into this mysterious phenomenon????


Walt M said...


It's not a phenomenon. "We" (meaning male spouses) know where everything is, at least until it gets moved in the name of reorganizing clutter. My wife has designated locations throughout the house for me to store my stuff to keep it out of sight.

She is much nicer than a friend of mine who tosses her spouse's and her kids' clothes (and toys) to the bottom of the basement steps, locks up the basement, and then lets everyone know what items are in "clothes jail."

Tami Brothers said...

I have to say that is SOOOOO funny. Never thought of "clothes jail." Wonder what my husband would say about that?

jlbrigl said...

I'm actually the one who has resorted to this method in the past. Clothes, shoes, toys that need to come out of 'jail' need to have a payment rendered to the 'jail keeper' to have them returned. This can range from having to perform a chore or provide a much needed back rub.

Tami Brothers said...

I love this idea!!!

I'll definitely have to keep it in mind....

Hhmmm. Wonder what I could ask for as payment????