Have you ever heard clutter described as delayed decisions? If that is true, how do you avoid clutter build up when you legitimately do need to put off a decision? Today we are going to tackle solutions for delayed decision clutter.
Please subscribe and leave a review in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. Reviews are the best way for others to discover our podcast, so if you haven’t already, please take a moment to subscribe and leave a review. Thank you for your support!
Also over the summer months, we will be releasing an episode every other week and subscribing is the best way for you to get our episodes right when they are released.
10 minute Tuesday Challenge
For this challenge, we choose one small space and spend 10 focused minutes organizing that area. Set your timer, dive in, and before you know it, you are done. It’s always surprising what you can accomplish in such a short amount of time. I even made a video to demonstrate!
As we come to end of this month long organizing challenge, (you can find week 1, week 2, and week 3 here), I realize that as much as I love 10 minute Tuesdays, it might not be as thrilling for others. “I can do anything for 10 minutes,” is my launch lingo (you can learn more about our launch lingo in episode 3) and most of that time that simple phase is all I need to get me started.
Bethany, on the other hand, is not quite as enamored with this challenge as I am and I don’t want to gloss over the fact that not every strategy is a perfect fit for you.
She did mention, she would like to fit it into a larger cleaning routine, which she has yet to establish. While I am a huge fan of cleaning routines (well all routines in general!), when you are still not feeling settle in a new-ish home, it can be daunting to organize in 10 minute when you are still unsure of where your items are going to permanently live.
Although, it may take a little extra nudging from me, Bethany does revel in the past 3 organized spaces she has conquered so far! The most recent space is her bedside table that she tackled in 10 minutes. As you can see, she also still has her tray for her glass that she established way back in Episode 4!
I also tackled my bedside table.
What are you going to conquer today? You can share your progress with us below in the comments or on social media. Use the hashtags #AtoBpodcast #10minuteorganizing.
If you look around your home, would you agree that clutter is small delayed decisions that pile up? Even if not all of your clutter is a result of delayed decisions, I am sure you can find some clutter in your home you just haven’t decided what to do with it. Even on my desk right now next to me, I have a pile of delayed decisions or more accurately delayed actions.
But as we all know, many times you can’t make a decision or take action and there are many justifiable reasons:
- you don’t have enough info
- you have to wait and examine other factors first
- you are working on a multiple step project
- you are relying on another person
- you need more time to think
- you could just want to batch your decision making
Whatever the reason a decision or action is delayed, creating a home for those items in the interim will keep clutter from piling up.
A Way Station
We are calling this home or holding spot for these temporary items a way station. Think of a way station as a permanent spot for temporary items.
Another mental picture is a laundry basket. You use your laundry basket to hold your dirty clothes, temporarily. Then when you have time or when you have a full load; you do your load of laundry all at once.
For example, one way station in your home could be a permanent spot for items to return or supplies for errands. In this case, you are not specifically waiting for a decision but instead for the next action step of running errands.
Another example we spent a great deal of time on in Episode 7 Kids’ Paper, is a holding spot for kids’ school papers. With all the schoolwork my kids bring home, it is hard to decide what I want to keep for the long-term in their school filing box.
So instead of deciding weekly (or even daily!), I keep all my favorites in a holding box. At the end of the year, we go through all their papers from that year and keep only the best of the best to save in their school file.
Some other examples of temporary items that need permanent homes are:
- supplies for in-progress projects
- items to be repaired
- clothes (out of season, too big/too little hand-me-downs)
In this episode, I went into detail how I create a holding spot for my kids’ clothes. Since I have 3 girls in 3 different sizes, there is lots of clothes shuffling. To combat the constant in and out, I created a way station in their closet.
When an item gets too small, I throw it in our way station (which is a hanging laundry basket from Ikea). This allows me to throw stuff in during a busy morning without having to get out the correct box which could be 1 of 4.
When I do sort through our clothing way station, I can more readily decide what can be passed on to my third child or what goes my younger niece or what has seen enough wear and tear that it is not worth saving. I also throw out of season clothes I snag on clearance that might still be too big into our way station.
I have been using this type of system since my girls were babies. They go in and out of sizes so quickly and since my first 2 kids are so close, it would only be a few months until my second would be in the next size.
Are you getting the hang of it? A way station is for all those items that end up in random places around your home. The important thing to realize is there are going to be times when you can’t make a decision or need to wait for the next step of the process. Create a holding spot for those times.
Paper and Other Clutter
Although we aren’t specifically talking about paper today, this way station framework correlates to how I use my daily Action Files. With a spot for receipts, coupons, and pending items I know where everything is until I am ready for the next step.
I also led an End Clutter Now Home Tour where I share how I store some of those common items that clutter up our homes.
We’d love to hear what clutter way station you have established in your own home? Do you think it is a strategy you would use or do you think you would stop checking into you way station after a while? Let us know!
We even have a voicemail line (858) 480-7722! Or send us an email Hello @ AtoBpodcast.com.
Don’t forget to help others to find our podcast too! Please leave us a review on iTunes.