Clearing Out the Clutter

fall clutter shot

Every now and then the spaces that we consider home become filled up with things. Old books pile up next to the coffee table unread; mail sits on the counter unopened; clothes hang in the closets unworn for years. Lots of little things hold us back and fill our heads with visions of getting all the things we no longer find useful out of the house. So we can fill it up again with all the new things our heart desires. However, there is usually one place we tend to overlook every time we go clean out the cluttered spaces in our home. Our planners.

If you are anything like me, you probably live out of your journals or planners. All sorts of scraps of paper fill those little binders or booklets. Receipts for purchases you can’t recall what you purchased, phone numbers quickly scribbled down on post-its and website addresses with unrecognizable names. If this sounds like the way your planner looks like now, it’s time for a good old fashioned Fall cleaning. Of course, if you’re following the David Allen Getting Things Done methodology, you should be making this a weekly priority. However, for those of us, who aren’t as good about visiting our planners and journals once a week, then this article is for you.

That’s right. It’s time to clear out your planners and forms and toss out the papers and notes that have lost all meaning to them. Move those next action cards that have been cluttering your binder up forward and store all the old and outdated projects. Cleaning out your “paper based house” may sound like a very uncreative thing to do, however, it can be very creative. By getting rid of the old things that tied your mind to old ways of thinking, you’re allowing yourself to new ideas and new blank forms to fill up with your doodles and thoughts and projects. I know that when I go on my cleaning binges, getting rid of everything that no longer feels like me or fits into my new patterns, always makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Sometimes getting things done means you got to throw out the old.

So this week, go ahead and clean your planner. Free it from all the old notes that have not been acted upon or filed away for safe keeping. Clear out some space in the binder for things you do use to scribble notes and projects on and give yourself a new home to write or scribble into. Print out a few of the D*I*Y Planner journaling or story board planner sheets and slip those into the front of your planner. You’ll find that once you get rid of the old and add a few new forms into your planner, your mind will throw all sorts of new ideas at you that you can turn into projects or stories or art. And these forms will help you keep track of those ideas until they become a reality. Plus, just think about all the good karma you’ll generate. It’s that fuzzy feel good feeling you get when you clean out the garage and get rid of all those boxes that have been cramping your home for years now. You’ll be glad you got things done by getting rid of the old.

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