Here are 4 tried and tested techniques to reduce clutter and bring a bit more control to your life.
Consolidate your notebooks
I used to horde notebooks. At any one time, I’d have about 3 notebooks on the go, for both personal and business. I’d eventually use them interchangeably to the point where the neat writing and organised structure was exchanged for doodles and ramblings of a mad man.
These days I try to stick to a single notebook. I write notes, capture ideas, complete the notebook and move on to the next.
For me, I reflected back on old notebooks, captured the best notes electronically (in Google docs for me) and then binned them.
Trust me, this seems a laborious exercise but it’s rewarding to go back and reflect on both your mindset at the time of writing and see how your notes have evolved.
If you can, use a single notebook until it’s full. Reflect back on the notes, consolidate (potentially electronically) and move on to the next. An added bonus is reflecting back on a notebook.
Get rid of receipts
Chucking old receipts seems a straightforward one, but people still end up with a designated receipt drawer, receipts crumpled from going through the wash and the front pocket of your bag loaded with them.
Be merciless and get rid of all receipts that don’t serve a purpose. Unless there are for a lifetime warranty or expense claiming, they most likely serve no purpose.
If you have expenses, get them done (ugh)and then remove the receipts from your life.
If you have to keep them (e.g. lifetime warranty), buy a wallet folder, colour label them and place them in the folder.
Stop paper bills
Are you still getting paper bills sent to your home?
Paper bills these days are unnecessary clutter, typically overlapped by emails or apps that display the same information. Paper bills also have a negative reinforcement for a lot of people. The ever-looming bill left unopened, pilling up, even if you have a direct debit set-up.
Best practise is to go fully electronic with your bills and consolidate payments to a fixed schedule, most likely pay day.
Make a list of all companies sending you bills by post. One by one, get in touch online or on the phone to opt-out of paper bills.
Chuck old magazines
You might be clinging on magazines because of a few gem articles. The best advice is that you tear out those pages and stick them in a blank A4 book or take a picture of the page and add to ‘Magazine’ album on your phone.
Thank you for reading. I’m writing 1000 posts over the next 1000 days. My 1st post will most likely be bad, but my 1000th should be great. You can follow my journey on Medium daily.