Clear out the clutter

It's tiiiime! Time for me to clear out the clutter. How about you? But what decluttering strategy should I use? I’ve read bestselling decluttering books like Swedish Death Cleaning and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve also read articles here and there about the topic. My conclusion? There are only two approaches to decluttering — time management and focus management. Here’s a story that illustrates both:

In Storyville, amidst the chaos of overflowing bookshelves, siblings Ponder and Wonder aimed to declutter and donate their books. Ponder embraced time management, setting a clock to categorize fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Systematic and disciplined, he raced against time, efficiently deciding what to keep and what to donate.


On the other side of the room, Wonder, his younger sister, embraced a different philosophy—focus management. She centered her attention and energy on the task at hand, immersing herself in the world of each book. Wonder approached the sorting process with a mindful presence, savoring the nuances of each title. Her method involved evaluating her sentimental value and personal connection with each book.


As the clock’s rhythmic beat persisted, both siblings finished their project. Ponder’s bookshelf was organized and streamlined, a testament to his adept time management. On the other hand, Wonder's bookshelf was a curated exhibition of her literary passions, showcasing the depth of her connection to each title.


Marveling at their diverse results, the siblings boxed up their surplus books for the local thrift store. Each completed the task at hand using different methods. Ponder's approach was clock-driven, while Wonder's approach was mission-driven. Both approaches yielded balanced, meaningful outcomes.


If you need to clear out clutter, what approach will you use — time management or focus management? My preference is focus management. I’d like to treat what I’m releasing reverently, whether I keep it or release it to someone who has been waiting for it. But if neither of those appeals to you, tell us your strategy for clearing out clutter.



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