Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cleaning up - Burst mode

Have you ever started to clean up your home and got stuck right after picking up the first item? It's often hard to decide what to do with the stuff that's spread around. Every item seems to bring up the same questions:

  • Is this worth keeping, or should I dump it right away?
  • Where should I put it?
  • Do I really need to do more cleaning?
You pick up the first item and get insecure. You think about what to do with it, what happens if you make the wrong decision. Your mind thinks about all possibilities and starts to drift away. After a while, you find yourself doing something else and feeling bad about all the mess around you.

You can speed up your cleaning if you set clear rules. There are exactly two modes of "Burst mode cleaning":
  • Dump it.
  • File it.
Pick one mode. Then, in the spirit of picking concrete numbers, pick a number. I suggest something around 10.

Dump mode

Carefully look around your home. Pick up every item that screams "Dump me!" and dump it. If you're not sure about an item on first look, leave it. Don't think twice. Try to find the next item to dump. If you've reached your number of items sit back and relax. If you can. After getting so much done in so little time, you'll be motivated to do more. That's a good time to start with "File mode" :)

File mode

Same as "Dump Mode", but this time you file everything. If you're not sure if you really want to keep this thing, or if you're not sure where to put it, leave it. Don't waste too much time on one item. Maybe you have a clearer picture of what to do the next time you come across this item.

Next time you think you should clean up your home, just pick a number and start...

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