Many professional organizers will claim that procrastination causes clutter and although that may be true, there is another cause I believe to be at the heart of this beast. Yes, I say beast – clutter, if left, takes on a life of its own. How many times do you say, “How did it get this way?”, “It seems to multiply!”
The average American will spend one year of their life looking for lost objects.
Any task you undertake whether it be making a sandwich, mowing the lawn, throwing a funding raising event for 1000 people, they all have supplies and a sequence. The sequence will typically go something like this; make a plan, gather the supplies, complete the “event”, and then POOF! It’s complete,… NO!!!!!
How many times is the last step of the sequence missed! You need to put ALL the supplies back where they belong.
A task is not complete until everything you used is back in its home.
Think of it this way – your family wanted to go out for dinner. You decide where you want to go, you gather the family and make your way to the restaurant, you eat and enjoy your evening – are you done there?!? No!! You go home, you don’t stay at the restaurant because your meal is finished. You need to return to your home.
How many times do you look around your home and the knife and plate are still on the counter, but the sandwich has been eaten or taken to school. The birthday present is wrapped but the wrapping, tape and box of bows is still on the dining room table. The dishes are washed but left on the counter to dry. Or my personal favorite, the picture is hung, and the screwdriver, hammer, or level is still in the bedroom. This is not procrastination – this is stopping a sequence before it is complete.
I know this is a simple concept but by ensuring you complete the cycle the 10 seconds here and 30 seconds there – will make a dramatic difference. Complete the sequence and not only will you reduce clutter but next time you need tape or a screwdriver they will be in their home. You will start retrieving items rather than trying to “find” them.