The Lists and Tools I Use to Keep My Brain Clutter Free

As I slowly bring my blog back to life I come across entries like this that I wrote just a few years ago that make me laugh. While I update the original post, I will add my current method (in bold) to document how things continue to evolve.

Whether you prefer sticky notes, pads of paper, notebooks or electronic devices I encourage you to make lists for everything. The more you can free your mind the better. I keep a small notebook beside my bed so I can write things down before I go to bed (This I still do, but it is a part of my Bullet Journal). This frees up my mind up for better sleep.

Here are my ongoing lists, how I record them, and where I keep them:

  • Master To-Do: This is where I pull my Daily To-Do list from. It is essentially my Brain Dump. I have it in a word document for easy updating and I keep a print out in a folder with any corresponding paper work. Today I use the same process, but the list resides in Evernote
  • Daily To-Do: I use a sheet of scrap...
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My Decluttering Process

While I am always maintaing my home and office there are times when clutter gets out of control. I have my system that I follow, but life happens and sometimes we need to prioritze. When I need to tackle a space this is my process:

  • First I take a deep breath.
  • I start in one corner of a room, closet, desk, other surface or container, then work my way around clockwise.
  • I work with small sections at a time to avoid a big mess at the end of my session. This way I can stop at anytime if necessary.
  • I start with sorting and purging.
  • My “piles” (either containers or section of room) include Trash, Recycle, Shred, Donate and Keep.
  • I use black trash bags for donations and white one’s for trash to avoid confusion. For fragile items being donated I use boxes or bins.
  • I never purchase organizing products until everything is sorted and purged. My goal is to avoid buying new products and use containers I already have on hand.  Plus it is important to know what sizes are...
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What is clutter? How do I know when to let go?

Clutter is simply anything you don't love or need.

You may find that answer too vague so when determining what items (and this includes digital items or tasks on your to-do list) ask yourself the following questions:

Do I love it?
Do I need it?

If the answer to both is no, let it go. Some of you will answer "I may need it one day",  If so then I would have you answer these questions:

Would it be difficult to find again?
Would it be expensive to repurchase?

If the answer is yes to either of those questions and letting go of the item will cause you stress, keep it. Just be sure to find an out of the way, proper storage area and revisit the item at a later date.

What about all those gifts that you hold onto out of guilt? I am giving you permission to let them go! Your loved ones whether they are still alive or have passed on wouldn't want you to be stressed.

If some gives you a gift that isn't your style or you don't need it. accept it with grace and let it go. Of course, if someone...

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