Many years ago I obtained the services of Lisa DeVeau of Completely Organized to come in and help me learn how to keep my space neat and how to organize my files better. Over the course of 3 weeks, in 2-hour increments, she showed me a lot of techniques and did help me greatly, and I still use most of those techniques even now.

However, there are times when I still get overwhelmed with stuff just piling up on my desk and getting on my nerves. I start feeling cramped and closed in on, and I don’t have the smallest desk in the world. I did have to add a table, though, to help me with a lot of the paper I still seem to accumulate, and I work for myself.

When I really need a break from all of this and want to get it done in a hurry I go back to the old “box” method. That is, I get a big box and I shovel everything on my desk into it. Well, everything that I can; there are a few things here and there that aren’t going anywhere, but everything else goes into the box.

Immediately I usually feel pretty good, but I know my job isn’t done. The next step is to go through every single thing in the box and put it somewhere. This now forces me to read papers that I might have just laid down. It forces me to take those extra business cards that I didn’t hand out to anyone and put them back in the box, and to log the information of those whose business cards I got if I believe they could be an important contact down the line. It forces me to take change that I’ve just put down and store it either in my accumulating money jar or my actual change can that I use whenever I go out.

On and on, it forces me to address things that I’d put off because I felt too busy to do otherwise. I felt that I had to continue performing for whatever reason and not take any time out to take care of what aren’t necessarily the little things. After all, some of those papers on my desk turn out to be bills that I hadn’t put in my bill area; that’s never good.

All of us need to declutter at some point in our lives. We can either take the time out to do a little bit every day or every week, or we can try to get it all done at once. Finding ways to help change your perspective as quickly as possible can’t hurt; maybe you can try my box method, and maybe you’ll find that you can use it in other ways as well.