My 9-day battle against clutter

Today, I threw away enough trash to fill two small trash cans[1. Like the ones you’ll see in any office.]. Most of the trash was paper that had been on my desk or inside my inbox for months. Months.

I’m starting to feel a bit better about my desk, but there’s still a long way to go.

In regards to maintaining my file drawer, one of my major problems is the cluttered area around my desk. It’ll never clear itself up unless I attack the piles in pieces and set a deadline.

I also have a number of books that I won’t read again, and most of them aren’t in demand on eBay[2. I basically tried to sell them already for the cost of shipping.]. If they’re worth reading, I’ll probably register them on BookCrossing and leave them in a park.

I’m setting a deadline towards a clear work area: Friday, June 11, 2010.

How will I meet that goal? In chunks. Each day, I’ll discard at least one full trash can and scan 20 pages into PDF files[3. My other mental block: not having my scanner (Canon CanoScan 5600F) setup since I clean installed Windows 7.].

Why am I telling you this? I find that the visual clutter drains my energy. I’m waging battle and I’d like you to hold me accountable.

Good procrastination? I think so.

Want to join me?

  1. Take a photo of your current work area.
  2. Clean up and organize over the next nine days.
  3. Take another photo on June 11th (at the end of the day).
  4. On your own blog, explain how you cleaned and organized your mess. Include the before and after photos.
  5. Send me an email by 10:00PM PDT June 13th, 2010, including a link to your post. I’ll wrap things up for myself and link to your posts on Monday, June 14, 2010.

See you on the other side!

When is the last time you threw away a stack of papers or unused gadgets? How about a weekly review? Do you do a weekly review? How do you keep things clear? Small chunks or when you get upset? (Read “Weekly Review: Key to GTD and achieving goals” and “How to do a Weekly Review in Under an Hour“)

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. Cat whisperer. Sometimes, a photographer and card magician.

3 thoughts on “My 9-day battle against clutter”

  1. Wednesday… and that’s it! 🙂

    Remember though, perfection is not the goal (of GTD), but rather a system that works for you. If it is clean enough and organized enough to help you function, you are there.


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