"Camper," he said (Camper was one of my two Todd nicknames), "take your center desk drawer and dump the entire contents in a garbage bag. Then, put the bag in a closet for a month. If you don't have to retrieve anything from the garbage bag in 30 days - toss it out."
It's a strategy I've used over the years and it really does work (now, if I could only get Charlotte to do this with her shoes...but I probably shouldn't push my luck).
I've noticed over the years that clearing out clutter seems to top many New Year's Resolution lists. Since Mr. Todd isn't helping me keep clutter free these days, I turned to clutter-clearing Diva, Barbara Tako for some advice. Barbara's the author of Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life and she's got some great suggestions to help Boomers keep their New Year's Resolutions.
New Year's Resolutions That'll Help You Clear Clutter - And More! by Barbara Tako
"Lose some weight." "Weed out the clutter." "Get better organized." Do they sound like familiar New Year's resolutions to you? Did you vow to achieve some of these in 2011? Have you already broken your resolutions? If you have, here's the news flash, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. Here's why.
Maybe we Boomers are a little cynical about the whole New Year's resolution making business. The fact is nobody has provided helpful suggestions about what resolutions to make and how to achieve them.
Here is a thought: Make resolutions to improve the things that you do most often. Instead of vowing to lose weight, choose to make improvements in what you eat. After all, most of us eat three to six times per day! Fix something you do many times. The good news is that if you eat more than you meant to or you ate the wrong thing one of those times, you will have many more opportunities to fix it.
How could you achieve your resolution to lose weight or any other resolution?
* Don't overload the boat! Make only one or two resolutions this year.
* Make your resolution specific. In the case of weight, pick an amount and a time frame.
* Make your resolution measurable. When you can quantify your goal, you can track your progress. How many pounds?
* Make your resolution achievable. Eat correctly to lose 10 pounds by May. That is achievable. Losing 10 pounds by next weekend is not.
* Promise and deliver a reward to yourself if achieving the resolution itself isn't intrinsically rewarding. Be kind to yourself!
Okay, here was one of my resolutions: Weed out two feet of paper clutter from my home in a week. I tackled the magazine and newspaper clutter in every room, and then I started weeding out file folders. I measured my progress with a tape measure. To weed out clutter, try these tips:
* Tackle tough projects during your personal prime time. For example, if you are a morning person, make paper clutter decisions in the morning.
* Set a time limit for the work. If it is play, they wouldn't call it work. Give yourself a specific window of time for making tough decisions. Maybe 15-30 minutes at a crack. You will be surprised at what you accomplish!
With these thoughts in mind, you can and will achieve your New Year's resolutions. When next year rolls around you'll have these resolutions under your belt and be ready to tackle some new ones!
Barbara Tako is the author of Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life, a seasonally organized book providing a variety of doable clutter clearing tips to fit your personal style and needs.