How to Clean Up All Your Clutter and Garbage

I had a gigantic pile of stuff on the couch in my office earlier this week. Where did it come from? I unloaded all the stuff in my office into one place. I emptied every drawer, cabinet, cubby hole, closet, and shelf (except for all my books)! I was following the advice of David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Allen claims that being a productive person means being an organized person. One important step to being organized is to collect and process all the clutter and loose ends in your life.

The collection step is just as I've stated, just dump everything you've got into one place. Don't organize anything yet (unless you already know it is trash), just collect into one location. Then you enter process mode. Allen provides a processing workflow diagram to help you decide what you are going to do with each item. His diagram is especially suited for ideas, paper, and tasks. But even objects need to be trashed or organized and placed in an effective location.

Of course, even after you have collected and processed all your loose ends, if you do not have an effective system for processing all future "stuff"  (and work it!), you will end up right back where you started. I recommend you read the book to find out how to do it.