Books are usually not the easiest part of decluttering a house. They belong to a part of your life, they have become part of the furnishing, they are your memory, and they form a trusted environment. But they can take up a lot of space, collect dust, and be damaged by silverfish …
Do you have a problem estimating time? For example, how long it will take to do something, or getting something finished in a fixed time? Start ‘clocking’ time.
What do you with all your photo prints? I am often asked this.
If you still have many photo prints, and they are stored randomly, the best advice that I can give you is: sort the photos in chronological order, discard the failures, second-class photos and duplicates, and store the best in envelopes, folders, photo wallets or box files, together with sachets of silica gel (these keep the photos dry, and you can often find them in packed goods that you have bought).
Around 2004, many people began taking digital photographs. So did I. That means that I now have 14 years’ worth of digital photos. I store them in folders in my computer (iMac with iPhoto) in chronological order.
Besides the date (year-month-and in some cases day), the folders are also given a name, such as “Italy” or “Paul’s Exhibition”. That is my most important tip: in the photo application on your computer, make main folders by year, and sub-folders by subject , or main folders by subject (holidays) and sub-folders by country and/or year . One subject can be ‘various’ for photos that do not belong in a particular category. Or, for example, a sub-folder ‘ideas’, if you regularly get inspirations. It is important to remember that when you start a new sub-folder, first discard all the failed and second-class photos, and make critical choices about which photos you want to keep.
Next, copy all the photos onto an external storage medium (USB-stick or hard disk) as ‘back up’. Keep this back-up medium in a safe place in your house. Naturally, you will need to update the back-up as you add new folders to the computer. You can also store photos online, in the cloud (for example Dropbox – free storage up to 2 GB, Google Amazon or iCloud).
If you make a lot of photos with your mobile or tablet, then Dropbox or Google is a good place to collect all the photos so that you have a complete overview. You can then view all your photos on whatever apparatus you choose.
Finally a tip when travelling: make regular back-ups of your photos by uploading them to Dropbox or other cloud service when you have WiFi available.
Clothing is a recurring theme in terms of organization. Do you have a large pile of clothes on a chair – and thus clothing that is not in the wardrobe? Perhaps those are things that you wear most often.
Assign a fixed place for things – this is a well-known rule of organization. Your keys in particular need a logical and fixed storage place.
It makes time, clears your head and gives you a good feeling, if you can work in a concentrated manner. But how do you do that, if you are in a busy work environment, or you are constantly haunted by the feeling that you have so many other things to do? ….
If you are looking for a light-hearted way to plan activities, look no further than Lego. You’ve probably got some in the house, but you will need a baseboard. If you also have plenty of bricks and figures, you can go to town.
You have a good idea – to make time to clear up your house. But how do you start? I’ll give you a few important tips:
A proportion, or a large proportion, of the e-mails in your in-box are probably digital newsletters, or updates for organisations or products for which you registered long ago.