Many, many different varying opinions on this but this is what works for me. I’m a pretty organized guy and depending on really what your goals are, you can either be seen as a hoarder or as a minimalist. A couple years ago I was on a real big, not really survivalist but I guess repurpose-ist, I don’t know, keeping just about everything so I could have a storehouse of bottles and leftover scrap wood and different materials to where I could make things.
I made quite a bit of things on the cheap but I didn’t really value my time because it required a lot of processing to get there. But point being, looking back on it now, it left quite a bit of junk just kind of laying around that I didn’t end up using. Now that I don’t consider it inventory I consider it taking up space as my mindset has changed.
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My general approach to cleaning up what you could see as a mess or leftover plans and projects is to take it one room at a time.
For instance, if I know that the study is a mess, there are one or two main things I need to attack in that. That’s leftover electronics or paper materials that have gathered up over time. I have a lot of books, a lot of notes, a lot of study materials that I wanted to keep for at least a couple months to see whether or not I would use them or where I would progress in my interest and you have to either set a physical reminder on your phone or a mental reminder to check once or twice a year for the whole house, the ‘ol Spring cleaning attack on it.
But the general high-level goal here is to pick a room and then pick a part of that room and treat each one of those as one milestone to organizing and cleaning up your house, otherwise it’s just too overwhelming. Once you’re done with that particular piece, make an effort to stay away from it. Treat it as a complete new entity of untouchable space to where you won’t fall back into the habit of building up that space again.
So when I’m going to attack, what I’ve done recently, to attack the paper materials pile up or archive in the study, was to set it all out, set apart the one or two hours that I needed to go through it and take the mindset of “What compelling piece of evidence can I tell myself on why I need to keep this? Is this something I cannot recover that I haven’t already done something with? Or I’ll need the support, like tax, audits, later?” If I can’t come up with a very compelling, like a really, really non-hoarder, compelling reason, it’s trash.
Even if I think it’s only going to be relatively useful and it might hard to find it on Google later, it’s got to go. If it’s something I haven’t used in a year in a half, then I’ll never use it, so get rid of it. Every piece that you’re going through, whether it’s paper, old items, that juicer you bought, that dehydrator you bought from QVS a long time ago, comes from the perspective of “If I haven’t used this in two years, am I really going to use this in the next two years?”
Just get rid of it. Treat them as separate chunks so you can have manageable goals to attack and then really ask yourself whether or not you’re going to use this based on the history of using it in the past couple of years.
I think you’ll find that you get your house organized, cleaned up and de-hoarded quite quickly. That’s my approach. See if it’s suited for you. Break it down into chunks, attack it one piece at a time and get an organized house.