Clutter sucks. It gets in the way, it clouds our physical space and emotional space, and seems to always get in the way just when we need to accomplish something most.
I know we’ve all been there, you’re late for work, you’re running around the house trying to grab everything you need before heading out the door and you just can’t seem to find your car keys. Or maybe your story is a little different.
Maybe you need that file located somewhere in your downloads folder, the problem is your downloads folder has about 300 files in it and you can’t use the search function because you can’t quite remember what that pesky file is called.
Clutter finds ways to ruin our productivity on an almost hourly basis. It invades all aspects of our lives, it forces us to slow down, it wastes our time, and it is incredibly unnecessary. Here are a few simple ways to reduce clutter and help you increase your productivity.
Become More Minimalist
Guess how much time I waste in the morning rifling through my makeup bag for to find the right tool for my morning routine? None. Becoming a minimalist saves time! This is because I have a small number of beauty products that I use everyday, and it’s easy to just reach in my bag and grab the exact thing I’m looking for. Having less stuff, means there’s less clutter, which means less stuff to slow me down. Having less stuff is the number one way to keep clutter from ruining your productivity.
Make a Landing Strip
This idea I credit to Apartment Therapy, and it’s helped me immensely reduce the amount of time I waste before leaving the house. A lot of daily clutter that slows us down involves things we bring into and take out of the house.
Can’t find that purse? What about those car keys? Do you remember where you put that USB drive that your mother gave you with some family pictures on it? No? Better start searching the house then.
A landing strip is an area right inside your door that houses everything you take into and out of your home. It should have a place for everything including your purse, coat, shoes, keys, mail, and anything else you might need quick access to. It’s a great way to stay organized. Real go-getters even equip their landing strips with recycling bins for junk mail, old receipts, and flyers – so that stuff never even makes it past your threshold.
Take Care of Those Folders
I’m really great at keeping my work computer organized. I know that things are starting to get out of control when I start saving files to my desktop, so every few weeks, I make sure all of those desktop files are moved to the correct folders, and I make sure to empty my downloads and temporary folders as well. I must admit though, I’m not nearly as disciplined with my home computer.
My fiance and I recently started sharing a single computer and we haven’t really worked out a system yet. We’ll tackle it soon though, and I grind my teeth every time I have to go hunting for files – because I know it’s easily avoidable!
You Do Not Own Hermione’s Purse
If you don’t know what Hermione’s Purse is, enlighten yourself here. This one is for the all of the women out there who spend a few minutes every day rummaging in their purse for this or that. I say, enough already. Do you really need everything that’s in there? You probably don’t, I know I don’t need everything in my purse, and all I have is my wallet, my glasses case, some lip gloss, a folded up reusable bag and my cell phone. I keep some emergency cash in an inner pocket along with some gift cards and that’s it! It saves so much time to not have to rummage through my bag looking for stuff, it’s all right at my finger tips – and more importantly – it’s all I need.
Clutter, if left unchecked, can waste time and lead to a huge decrease in productivity at work and in life in general. It trips me up, slows me down, and generally drives me bonkers. It doesn’t have to be this way though, by employing these simple decluttering strategies, productivity busting clutter can be reduced significantly. You might even save your sanity too. 🙂