Start and End at Zero

It’s fall, time to let go. And today I am tackling a pile of stuff that has gotten out of hand.

My goal is always to start and end the day at zero, meaning that I start with a clean slate and forgive, release, clean before going to bed.

But you know what they say about intentions! They don’t always pan out. Sometimes things spill over and begin to create a pile. Here are some tips for tackling your pile of stuff like a boss.

Keep It In Plain Sight

It’s tempting to shove things in a closet or in a drawer. The problem with that is “out of sight, out of mind.” It’s too easy to forget about it if you don’t have to see it. If it annoys you, you’re more likely to do something about it sooner rather than later.

Have ONE Pile

It’s a lot easier for me to walk past one stray thing than a pile of things. And if I have a pile of things, I am very motivated to clean it up. Having a “dump spot” for things means I avoid walking all over the house looking for random things that are out of order.

Have a Place To Put Things

When I have a pile that grows, it’s due to one of three things. The first is that I don’t have a designated place to put something. If there isn’t a place for this thing to live, it can remain homeless while I figure it out.

This can mean that I need to organize better.  When I bought a storage bin for art and craft supplies, this helped with that a lot! Everything had a home and was much easier to find.

Put a Time Limit on Intentions

Another reason for my piles to grow is that I intend to fix something that is broken, finish a project, donate the item, or something like that. I have a mental vision for the future of this thing and right now it’s in limbo. So, in my mind, it’s not out of place. It’s just in an in-between space.

Unfortunately, we don’t always get to finishing or fixing that thing, do we?

I deal with that by putting a time limit on it. If I intend to learn how to play flute and haven’t made any moves towards actually doing it, the flute has to go. If I intend to make a photo collage, and it’s getting close to my self-imposed deadline, that gives me motivation to finish it.

My deadline is seasonal. Each season I do a clean sweep. Anything in limbo has to move on.

choose your image

Make a To Do List

My final reason for letting a pile grow is that I just don’t want to deal with whatever is in front of me. It’s messy, tedious, boring, or I just don’t like it (like taxes).

Placing a check next to a to do item is a real motivator for me. I like creating order out of chaos, so it feels very satisfying.

If it’s a big fat something to do (like taxes), I might chunk it down. So, instead of writing down “do taxes,” I write: do income, do deductions, do business taxes, file. Since each one of those is a smaller pile, it’s mentally easier to tackle them until the big project is done.

How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

Our outside is a reflection of the inside, and vice versa. If your outer space is clean and tidy, your inner space is too. So having a disciplined way of dealing with your emotional baggage is also helpful. Some of these strategies will help with that too.

Share your go to strategies in the comments!