8 February 2005

The Desktop Game (and other Anti-Clutter Favorites)

With the year of the rooster forthcoming – tidyness and orderliness are main themes then – here are my favorite anti-clutter techniques:

the desktop game
When I was in college a friend of mine tought me a piece of wisdom I never forgot: When she was a kid, her mom used to play a game with her each week. They met at her desktop and she had to argue for each and every item she wanted to keep (and she wanted to keep everything). If she couldn’t find good reasons for keeping it, it was tossed. I wish my mother would have applied this weekly clutter review with me.

containerize
Andy Warhol was very good at that. He was a massive collector of stuff, but he stoved everything into boxes and stored them out of sight. When he died, he left 600 of these ‘Time Capsules’.

habitualize anti-clutter sprints
Make it a habit replacing one coffee (or tea-) break each day with a 15 minutes anti-clutter sprint. This works best with a timer. Focused 15 minutes can make a difference.

check the current ebay value
This helps overcoming any ‘damn, I paid 1000 bucks for this sampler (1MB RAM)’ attitude or a ‘I really could need this sometimes for survival of the species’ mode (it probably is worth 15$ now and you always could buy it again anyways).

trash your harddisk
Recommended for data miners.

dress up
Dress to impress before any cleaning and tossing sessions. I didn’t try it, but if I were a girl I definitively would. (Regretably I can’t remember where I picked up this trick.)

good books:
Karen Kingston’s Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui
Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing from the Inside Out