Thursday, 23 June 2011

25 Things: Time for a De-Clutter in 3 Easy Steps

I've been working on an exercise called 25 Things; it's a methodical approach to removing some of the clutter that clogs up your environment. Yeah, you know the kind of stuff I mean.... the pens that ran out of ink, the out-of-date vouchers in your purse, the clothes in the back of the wardrobe that never get worn, the cables from equipment that is now defunct, your old mobile phone... you get the idea

If you're anything like me then you have a nasty habit of overlooking this stuff, it's just kind of always there; the brain manages to filter it out and you somehow just ignore it. Truth is, you don't. Deep in the back of your mind, your brain totally knows that the stuff is there and slowly over time it becomes a niggle. An irritation. A discontent

The fact of the matter is that a cluttered environment equals a cluttered brain. When all around you are unused, useless items that no longer serve a purpose for you then the knowledge of their presence rests uneasy in the back of your mind. And when your brain is clogged up being bothered by this useless stuff, it is less capable of focusing on the good stuff

"Clutter causes stress and clutter is one of the main barriers of productivity" - Charisse Ward

Everybody has a good clear-out every once in a while - it's therapeutic; it creates space. And I mean physically as well as mentally. Removing clutter from your environment also removes it from the backlog of niggles in your brain

The 25 Things exercise helps tackle this in a way that stops you feeling overwhelmed. Some of us have so much clutter that we just don't have a clue where to begin. Once brought back into our attention all we see is clutter and it's not pretty. Despite its overall benefits, de-cluttering can be a draining process and so 25 Things breaks it down into 3 easy steps. Each step can be done separately, a day apart. I did mine a week apart. If you're on fire with de-cluttering perhaps you'll manage all 3 steps in a day (but I'm guessing you're not the kind of person with huge clutter issues!)

So let's get started! Gimme some of that space!

Begin by finding 25 things that are totally useless to you or to anybody else. Broken stuff, dead stuff, worn out stuff. Chuck them out! (responsibly of course - recycle if you can!)

Next find 25 things you no longer want or use but that still have some value. List them on e-bay, in the local paper, have a yard sale or take a stand at a car-boot sale. Sell them! The best part about this step is that your clutter earns you a bit of money... and that's never a bad thing!

Finally, find 25 things that are no longer of any use to you but that you can give away to somebody who would have a use for them. Contact your friends, host a swap party, donate them to charity. Rescue them by putting them back into circulation so they regain their value as a useful item

This is an exercise that can be repeated whenever you feel the need; take it at your own pace, you'll know when your environment is better for it as it'll feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Suddenly the place will feel calmer, more ordered and there won't be anything for your brain to store in its 'must get round to sorting that later' file. There will be breathing space, you'll feel a sense of pleasure in your surroundings and best of all you'll feel a whole lot more productive

Let me know how you get on!

Lisa x

{graphics by Lisa Pocklington, 25 Things exercise via Rebecca Fine's A Certain Way newsletter}

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