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Curated Personal Development Collections

Getting on top of Clutter

Get rid of your clutter, get organised and breathe again.

Image: Rubbermaid Products, Flickr

I always feel like a huge weight has been lifted when I clean a cupboard or bookshelf, I feel free to do amazing things. Of course, these amazing things usually manifest in the form of me enjoying a cup of tea while feeling smug about said cupboard. My point though is that de-cluttering and having an organised home allows you to enjoy your spaces and get on with more important stuff.

The effects of clutter

How clutter affects you (and what you can do about it)

Article / ByMikael Cho

Mikael Cho found that he was spending only ten percent of his work day doing the job he loved. Most of his time was spent with handling stuff; staying on top of emails, meeting notes, and files - clutter really. He was mentally exhausted, and so decided to make some modifications to how he works. Here he delves into how we go about accumulating our clutter and why we find it so hard to let it go. He also shares some ideas for staying on top of things.

Scientists find physical clutter negatively affects your ability to focus, process information

Article / ByErin Doland

"When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus." Find out more about the research conducted at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute.

Quick tips to get you started

Drowning in clutter? Follow the "one-minute rule."

Video / ByGretchen Rubin

I've just watched this video and applied the one-minute rule to my desk. I've relocated a pile of books to the bookshelf, binned an old cartridge for my label machine as well as some till slips and put some vouchers and receipts into my handbag and wallet. The surface of my desk is now clean except for a small pile of paper.

Your Top 10 Clutter Questions, Answered

Article / ByLeo Babauta

Leo Babauta recommends taking just 5 minutes to clear a spot on a counter. So let's tackle those magazines and mail now and I will handle my pile of paper.

9 Decluttering Secrets From Professional Organizers

Article / ByReal Simple

If you don't want to just de-clutter, but you want it to all look lovely as well, then read on and find out how the professionals do it. I for one will be trying the 'rolled up t-shirts' tip...

DYMO LetraTag Labelmaker

Tool / ByDymo
I got one of these after reading Getting Things Done and I use it much more than I had anticipated I would. It's so easy even a five year old can use it (yes, my son loves labelling everything too now). My preference is for the white plastic labels . You can even get iron on labels , because let's face it who's got time to sew labels onto school clothes.

11 Tips to Conquer Your Child’s Clutter

Article / ByAby Garvey

These are great tips for organising those mountains of toys. A few months ago my son (5) and I sorted through all his toys. He decided how he would like his toys grouped and made the labels for the boxes (using the labelmaker above) - which has helped him enormously with putting things away. However, our donate pile was not as large as I'd hoped, so maybe we need to have another go before Christmas using Aby Garvey's tip number two.

In-depth clutter clearance

Banish Clutter Forever

Book / BySheila Chandra
The basis for this book is one simple question, "Why is it that even the most disorganised person never seems to lose their toothbrush?" I've been a fan of Sheila Chandra's music for many years now so I was quite delighted when I came across this book. It's well thought out, practical and really works. Using this system you will be able to organise your stuff efficiently and you'll know where everything is. And most importantly you'll know where to put stuff away. It is one of the most useful books I've read.

Getting Things Done

Book / ByDavid Allen

This book is so popular it has it's own acronym (GTD) and even websites dedicated to how best to implement the systems described. It is the best book for creating and maintaining an organised office and dealing with your paperwork. I personally use the GTD methods to manage my emails, information on my laptop and in the cloud, and my paperwork. It is the best system I have come across.

I am the founder of I love reading personal development books and try very hard to implement the stuff that resonates with me. For the most part I am paralysed by fear and indulge in the fine art of proscrastination. So it's small changes for me.

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