Savagely Remove Your Clutter

That’s it? Man, you don’t own much stuff, do you?
Too many material possession, and they start to own you — I like to live light.
“Chastity” comic

Reducing clutter is not a one-time effort. It is something you have to do continuously. Otherwise, it will own your life. I’ve already written years ago about this topic, e.g., in “Do you really need that stone, Sisyphus?”, but recently I continued to savagely reduce my clutter. So here are a few more suggestions:

Take a cold hard look around

D0 you really need these books on your shelf, collecting dust? Or can you create a virtual library and reduce a lot of shelf space in a really short amount of time (a weekend!). And how about those movies, sitting in their DVD packages. Essentially, they are nothing more than generic DVD casings with a piece of paper and a DVD itself. Why not digitize the movies, throw the boxes away and scan the covers? After all, it’s just a piece of paper you can scan. Personally, I reduced my movies from 5 packages to this one:

dvds.jpg

All my … many hundreds of DVDs … fit neatly into one packet by using paper sleeves and discarding any superfluous material.

How? By discarding the plastic covers and replacing them with cheap paper sleeves. I have a list of all the movies I own, and I don’t need the backs of the DVD covers to stare accusingly at me. And more importantly, I don’t want to. So I keep my copy on a hard drive, and the original DVDs in one large packet. Out of sight, out of mind — until I, intrinsically, want to see the movie.

Get some boxes

When a nearby supermarket had plastic boxes on sale, I went on a shopping spree. After all, plastic boxes, whether Tupperware or anything else — are just cheap petrochemical products that do not cost much in manufacturing (at least, until there still is some oil left). But they are really useful to get stuff out of sight, out of mind. I have boxes dedicated to, e.g., presentation equipment, photography, outdoor, tools, clothes for “dirty work”, etc. pp. Neat, easily stackable and … well, let’s just say there’s a world of stuff below my bed.

Get a Labeler

Asianefficiency.com pointed me to this useful tool. Although my father did (does?) have one, albeit a mechanical one. The one below — which I own — is a Brother P-Touch 1000W. And it is quite useful.

labeler.jpg

A nice labeler.

Sure, you can write stuff on post-it’s and put scotch tape over it. But it never looks as neatly as a digital version (unless you master calligraphy, which I don’t). So this label maker allows me to create neat little labels. Although of the two fonts, I consider only “Helsinki” usable (the one on the top). Still, very useful to ensure you still know what is in those plastic boxes. Only downside, you need six(!) AAA batteries. That mechanical labeler my father (used to) own(s) did not need any.

So, these are a few tips on reducing clutter. What experiences did you make? What did reduce your clutter? Leave a comment if you like. 🙂

Categories: Improving your Creativity, Infrastructure



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