They say the first step to recovery is admitting it, right?
Well, I’ll be the first to admit I need to CLEAR THE CLUTTER!
I didn’t leave my work area in this state of disarray when I locked up for the weekend. I didn’t get to work this morning to find that some strange person had come in without my permission, strewing papers across my desk just to stress me out and steal my sanity. I did this to myself – between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and noon, to be exact. I returned to my desk today after lunch to find it barely recognizable (sometimes it gets that way when I am engrossed in a project). In the words of Steve Urkel, “Did I do thaaaaaat?” Sorry, if you are not a child of the 80s or a syndicated TV-watcher, that reference may have escaped you.
What’s the big deal with a messy desk? Well, the folks at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have conducted studies on how clutter influences our brain and its ability to stay focused and productive. In plain language, the more stuff we have to focus on in our home and work environment, the less productive we are.
I’ve noticed that when I have too much clutter in my life, my stress definitely increases. As I waste time looking for things in various piles, I get more and more anxious at the loss of productivity and the tick-tock of time slipping away. Well, I say, let time slip away needlessly no more! Today has “making a plan” written all over it. It’s a Monday, it’s the first work day of the month, and it’s December, the last month of 2013. So how about we put a plan into action?
The plan of action for my office quickly spread to thoughts of de-cluttering at home. While my house is not exactly a candidate for an episode of Hoarders, there’s much I can do to simplify and organize my stuff. And why wait until January to make a resolution to clear the clutter from my life, when I can start now and enter the New Year with a clean slate and clean countertops? So after I cleared my desk at work and could think more clearly, I decided to put together a 30-day plan to de-clutter my home room by room.
You should know that I planned this with my home and my family’s habits in mind. The plan takes it one room at a time, and is meant to take about 15-30 minutes per day (that’s the goal, anyway) per week. Week one starts with the bedroom, Day 6-10 tackles the living room, Day 11-15 the bathroom, Day 16-20 the kitchen, and Day 26-30 is all the rest! You can probably adapt my plan to make it fit your needs, but hey, it’s a start, right!
I caution you against tackling it too quickly – depending on your state of clutter, taking on too much at once might just leave your overwhelmed and wanting to just give up. Everyone’s time constraints and comfort levels are different, though, so feel free to adjust to suit your needs and stay with it!
So take a look at my 30-day plan below, and see how you can make it work for you!
I’ll be back at work, cleaning off my desk. :)
Grab my printable (pdf) checklist for clutter-cutting here:
Cut the Clutter Room by Room 30-Day Plan
Update: The office desk is done! Still working on the house… :)