Never Stop Building - Crafting Wood with Japanese Techniques
Crafting Wood with Japanese Techniques

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7 Steps to Clear your Mind and Clean your Room

Author’s Note! This article has been imported from my previous website. I wanted to preserve all of the old content as many people have found some value in it. There may be some broken links and or formating issues. If something isn’t right, please let me know and I’ll do my best to make an update.

To kick off the new year, I found it fitting to write about my weekly process of cleaning and organizing. Think about this post not only in the context of a week, but also in the context of a year. I have found that keeping your work area neat and tidy is paramount to keeping your work of a high quality. Time to start off 2013 with a clean slate!

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that my room’s cleanliness is cyclical, it grows messier over the course of a week, and then becomes clean again on the weekends. If only this happened naturally! I find that at the end of a long week of work, play and errands, that Sunday is the perfect day to re-focus and clean your slate. If you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, try first at looking at your surroundings for clutter that can cloud your mental state. By first cleaning my room, I am able to clear my mind of everything and once I have both a physical and mental blank page, then it feels effortless to plow through all those little items that have been piling up. Try these 7 steps every Sunday:

  1. Do a once over for all outright trash: bottles, food containers, wrappers, scraps of paper, and your wastebasket.
  2. Create a pile of all those things that belong elsewhere. With me, it is often a few items from the rest of the apartment and a bunch of drinking glasses.
  3. In one swoop, relocate these offending items!
  4. Put all of the clothes you have lying around in one area, say your bed or the corner, this will help you tidy the rest of the room.
  5. In one sitting, sort your clothes pile into “Clean, needs to be hung up,” “Worn, could be worn again,” and “Dirty!”, putting the dirty clothes into the wash, and putting away the rest.
  6. Anything else, put into a big pile or drawer; with me it’s usually a stack of mail, bills, books, receipts, scraps of notes, my phone, Kindle, pens, etc.
  7. Vacuum!

At this point, you should notice that your room(s) are clean and clear of any clutter. It should feel calming to know that everything is in its proper place. It is at this point that my physical work is mostly at an end, and for the most part, I can spend the next bit of time processing that large drawer/pile from step 6 and above. With a clear mind, I can whip through all of the items, enter the bills, toss the trash, and add any future to-do’s to my list.

This is also a good time to process your outstanding emails (I use the “Inbox Zero” method, which means you strive for no mail in your inbox, but rather sort it into archive, to-do, and waiting). It’s great to start the week with a fresh clean room, a clean inbox, and an organized list of things that need to be accomplished this week.

Jason Foxminimalism