Crystal says, here are the Five Holy Organizing Principles:
1. Do not buy stuff you don’t need. If you won’t be using something immediately or in the very near future, chances are you shouldn’t be buying it. And sales are a death trap. The moment you start using words like, “Someday that could come in handy for something”, you enter clutter danger zone.
2. Politely say no to freebies. Just because it is free does not mean you need it in your house. Remember that getting rid of something is 10 times harder than acquiring it!
3. Purge your possessions frequently. Regularly look through your drawers, closets and attics for gift-giving, donating and yard sale opportunities. All those baskets, vases, self-help books, blank journals etc. that you never seem to get around to using? They will make great presents for your friends! Also check out Crystal’s Garage Sale Guide for help in planning your next sale.
4. Do two things when unpacking any new household item (blender, printer, stereo, etc): (1) File the instruction manual in a folder in your file cabinet labeled “Instruction manuals”. This makes it a cinch to find the instructions again when you need them. (2) Unless you need to return the item, break down the cardboard box (keep a box cutter handy for this purpose) and then put it in your recycling bin right away.
5. Don’t touch things more than once! By this, I mean if it belongs in the trash, put it there now. Don’t set it down so that you can later forget what you intended to do with it in the first place. This is how clutter accumulates! If it needs to be shredded, shred it now. If it needs to be put back in the closet, put it back now. As a rule of thumb, anything that can be done in < 1 minute should not be deferred to a later time! A small investment now yields huge return for peace, order and productivity later.
Have more ideas to share? Post a comment or write to Crystal and let her know!