Over time, we accumulate piles in our houses, offices and minds. And the clutter we create brings chaos, preventing us from starting and doing the work to finish what’s most important to us. We need space to breath, think, plan and take action. A great place to start starting is to clear the clutter and create some order. And then committing to keeping order after it’s created so we don’t return to old habits and new clutter.
The concept of taxonomy is used in many disciplines and can easily apply to clearing the clutter in our electronic and physical spaces and most important - our minds. I’ve been researching a lot about taxonomy at work to help our company organize our files before we move them to the cloud. Our team has been working on this project for over six months and have at least another three months of work and diligence ahead to implement properly. And to prevent future build up and clutter, we are finalizing a naming protocol and will be implementing monthly audits so we don’t fall into old habits. Searching for and easily finding files improves productivity and reduces stress.
Before launching Start3Things, I spent a lot of time thinking through taxonomy. I often got stuck with the many directions that it could go and all of the possibilities. After pushing through and demanding structure, I landed exactly where I started with the three buckets of start, middle and finish. The construct of ideas, inspiration and insights (beginning, middle and end) guide what I research, write curate and share.
In Marie Kondo’s #1 New York Times bestselling book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” she has created The KonMari Method™ which encourages tidying by category (that darn taxonomy again).
Her 6 Basic Rules of Tidying
RULE 01: Commit yourself to tidying up.
RULE 02: Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
RULE 03: Finish discarding first.
RULE 04: Tidy by category, not by location.
RULE 05: Follow the right order.
RULE 06: Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
My favorite rule – does it spark joy! That’s a good question to ask ourselves every day to ensure we are making most of our precious and limited time.
According to a Newsweek article on why clutter is bad for our brain, neuroscience researchers found that clearing clutter from our spaces resulted in a better ability to focus and increases productivity - “our brains like order, and constant visual reminders of disorganization drain our cognitive resources, reducing our ability to focus. The visual distraction of clutter increases cognitive overload and can reduce our working memory.”
Where to start?
1. Take inventory and start with 20-minute chunks to build momentum to keep going.
2. Create buckets, including the give it away bucket!
3. Let go so you can move on to creating experiences that spark joy!