Like most people, I try to be as neat as I can. But, now that I have lived in the same apartment for several years, the closets are getting a little cluttered, and I’m finding it harder to find things when I need them.
So, to motivate me to clean out my closets a little better, I want to take the time today to share some thinking about why it’s a wise investment of time to keep your living and work spaces as decluttered as possible. While it does, at least for me, seem like a major chore, the time savings are more than likely well worth it.
Clutter Slows you down
The other day, I was making some roast beef and needed to pull the whole roast, in a pan, out of the oven. Oven mitts will do the job, but I also happen to have some heat-resistant tactical gloves that cover a lot more of my hands. I keep those, or so I thought, in a basket in my closet with all of my other hats and gloves.
It took me fifteen minutes of looking to finally give up on finding those gloves, and I used the oven mitts, which work a lot less well, to get the roast out of the oven. I’m still not sure where the gloves are, and fifteen minutes is about how much time it takes me to come up with an outline of a post like this one.
The point I’m getting at here is that it’s entirely possible that having too much stuff in the way, even stuff that you think you need to accomplish things, can be a direct impediment to getting things done.
When that becomes the case, it might well be time to start de-cluttering. At least from my point of view, when I am at the stage where I have less free time than I would like, the last thing I want to do is spend it looking for something that I should be able to find in a matter of seconds. Also, fifteen extra minutes might have burned the roast had I not started looking as soon as I put it in the oven.
So, What Stuff should Get de-cluttered
When I take the time to go through any storage area, the first question I ask is: have I used this item in the last two years? If the answer is no, then that’s a great candidate for an item to be donated if possible, or thrown away.
I often don’t bother trying to sell things online anymore unless it’s something valuable like an instrument, as the time and stress involved in talking with people who have no real intention of buying often make it a losing proposition economically and psychologically.
With some more room made after getting rid of the things that I haven’t found useful in a couple of years, it is my hope that I won’t waste time looking for something I need sort of urgently, which is exactly what got me thinking about doing this piece in the first place.