Thursday, July 06, 2006

Moving Out vs. Clearing Out

It's the beginning of July and many people are in the process of moving.

I spoke to a friend who said she has only 3 weeks until she moves and she just didn't know where to start. As I was giving some ideas and suggestions, it started to make sense to her and gave her a new direction and focus on how to get started.

Now, the tips for "Moving Out" are actually the complete opposite of the advice that I would give for "Clearing Out" (as in "Clearing Out the Clutter").

Keep in mind the organizing rule for either job: "Handle it Once"...

Moving Out: If you're packing for a move this summer, I recommend first packing and labeling the things that you don't use often (such as winter & holiday items, books, decorative items, etc.), to get them out of the way first. They'll end up being the last boxes to be unpacked. So if you're moving, FIRST take care of the items that are used the least.

Clearing Out
: On the other hand, if you're working on clearing your clutter, especially paperwork, I'd suggest starting with the top of your stack, whatever is closest at hand.
The idea is: 1) We just want to get started right away and this is a good place to start; 2) It's the easiest thing to reach; 3) The top of the pile is probably the most recent and the freshest in our mind; 4) It may have the important action items that we have to take care of right away.
So, if you're de-cluttering, FIRST take care of the top of the pile, closest to you.

Whether you're moving, or de-cluttering (or both!) and you're completely overwhelmed, try starting out at 5 minutes at a time. I can walk you through the steps on how to do a 5 minute assignment in my free newsletter or a free coaching session. Visit for more info.

Let me know how you're doing. Feel free to post a quick comment here or send me an email.

Until next time... One Step at a Time, You're Doing Fine!