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Secrets to Win the Clutter War

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us have good intentions of keeping our desks clear, but when push comes to shove, and clutter builds. I have tried all sorts of systems to keep the clutter down, but my natural tendency to collect and keep things always seems to win out.

If you would really love to have a clear desk, Aimee Farrell's advice in the New York Times may hit the spot.  She offers some clear rules to make it work and keep working.

Do keep keepsakes but have a system - Of course you want to keep those special notes, and individual memories of friends and family, but set up dated envelopes and labels as you store them.

Create a clutter box - As you sort through the debris on your desk put things that you know you should throw out, but can't, in the clutter box. Later as it fills up you may toss much of it.

Find containers that really work - Choose boxes, desktop shelves and baskets that are the right size for your desk and the type of stuff you deal with.

Scan and store photos - Make the time to sort, categorize and scan your photo collections. Once you do, you will probably look at them more. Frame very special irreplaceable photos and store the rest.

Do daily and weekly reviews - If you wait any longer, the debris will be way too great and you might lose valuable things as you try to clear it out.

Use a label maker - It may seem like a time-taker, but quick little labels will make sorting a lot easier once you have it working. Use labels like "Cables and Chargers" and "In-Flight" to speed up daily use.

Save your calendar - Looking ahead and looking back can be a big help in tracking details. I have friends who use diaries too, and treasure the stored records and memories.

Make lists and more lists - I am a born list-maker, so it is easy for me to recommend this. Once you get into the habit of making lists you may never go back. You will forget less stuff and become more creative in as you jot down details that often slip away.  

Categorize your to-do lists - I hate to admit it, but this can get out of control. Once you make a basic daily to-do list you may find yourself creating a special action list too. This may be a bit compulsive, but if it helps you show up on time with all of your work done, that may not be so bad.

Try a few of these tips and keep the ones that work best for you. If they save time letting you find things quickly and lose less stuff, they may be worth the effort.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seal Beach, Calif.

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