Guest post by Liz Schneider, Dollar Bank

From Liz’s Mortgage News

With as crazy busy as we all are…. I thought this might be appropriate. Take a minute – breathe and read this…

When was the last time you saw the top of your desk?  Your car seat?  The bottom of your briefcase?  Here are a couple of ideas on how to de-clutter your life and become more organized this year.

There are Two Types of Clutter

Peter Walsh (a de-clutter expert) says there is “memory clutter” (I-might-need-this-some-day) and “lazy clutter” that just accumulates over time.

Lazy clutter is junk mail, magazines, brochures, free stuff (you picked it up just because it was free), which just takes up space. If you haven’t given your clutter a second glance within the last 60 days, grab a trash bag and just start filling it.

Memory clutter reminds us of a person or a past event.  When you get rid of your lazy clutter, then sort through your memory clutter and make piles of what you think you need to keep and what will be thrown away.  Then either file it or throw it away.

Get Real

If you haven’t touched it in 6 months – get rid of it!  With each piece of clutter that you pick up, ask yourself: “Do I use this? How long has it been since I used it? Will I use it again? Is it worth the space it takes up?” The objective is to get rid of it—not move it to another area.

Don’t Buy Anything New

Even if it’s on sale or a great deal—don’t buy anything until you purge and de-clutter first.

Take Pride in Your Trash

Make a game out of it and see how much you can throw away.  Set up a competition with a friend and see who can get rid of the most trash.

Purge Again

If you still have piles of stuff you simply can’t part with, wait about 30 days and de-clutter again.  You’ll be surprised how much you’ll get rid of the second time around.

And when it comes to “memory” clutter…

Are you the type of person who has sticky notes all over your desk?  Or keeps a list of things to do on their phone or legal pad?  The problem here is that you have to “remember” to find it and then “remember” to take action or do something about it.

By setting up a calendar (electronic or book) and entering tasks and deadlines, this allows you permission to “forget” (i.e., declutter your memory) up until the time it pops up on your to-do or call list.

Please share some of the tips that you have used to create an organized work space or the calendar system that you use declutter your memory.