I'm a clutter queen. It's something of an affliction for me, the sprawl that creeps across my desk (well, my whole cubicle, really) and onto various surfaces of my house. You may have read about my experience with Marie Kondo (good for the first book, wonky for the second) and I'm always looking at other approaches, which brought me to The Joy of Less. Jay was a bit ahead of the curve when she self-published The Joy of Less and in the years between that book and writing the new fully revised version, she had a child. Kids put a whole new spin on clutter and the family is a big part of the new The Joy of Less.
Unlike Kondo, Jay's philosophy is, "is it useful?" and she uses a method she calls STEAMLINE which begins with Start over and ends with Everything in its place. We asked Jay to come to the office to see if she could help with the aforementioned clutter. Below you'll see her technique in action--I'm really pleased with how well her process has stuck. A note about Part II, the drawer--after we did the surface of my monitor stand, Jay asked if we could possibly do the drawer before she left us--I think my whole desk made her a little crazy and that drawer was something she couldn't quite walk away from once I showed it to her. I think you'll agree that the transformation is pretty remarkable...
In the beginning...I think poor Francine Jay took a big gulp when she caught sight of my monitor stand in all it's cluttered glory. I hadn't realized how bad it was until I saw it through her eyes and in a photograph. Yikes.
First thing - start over. This means everything off the surface. Turned out there were actual layers of stuff, it was kind of like archeology without the awesome finds. Plastic forks and salt packets? Not so thrilling.
Everything in a box. Even the dog couldn't believe how much was on that stand...
A clear surface. Whoa.
Cue the lights and music-- after employing the other steps including identifying a reason for everything, narrowing down, and setting limits we've reached the final stage of everything in it's place.
One month later... doing pretty good, if I do say so myself.
PART II - The Drawer
Modules. Mine included pens, sticky notes, rubber bands, and personal items like lipsticks, band-aids, and dog poop bags. It was quite the assortment.
After The Joy of Less makeover
One month later...not quite as neat but nowhere near day one.
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