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Keeping It Simple

Sometimes we get bogged down when decluttering or organizing because we make things too complicated.  Unfortunately, much of the overwhelm and angst is brought upon ourselves by making things more complicated than they really need to be. 

Here are some ideas of ways to avoid complexity and get things done.


If you get bogged down in trying to decide what to shred and what not to shred, YouTube know-it-all  C.G.P. Grey said in one of his podcasts that he shreds all papers he’s decided not to keep. This saves him time and mental energy sorting through papers and deciding which ones need to be shredded and which ones don’t.  Many people hit “decision fatigue,” so there’s definitely some logic to avoiding unnecessary decision-making and saving one’s mental energy for where it’s really needed.

Using simple tools, when that’s all you need
It is easy to become intrigued and enamored by all the fancy apps for creating and managing to-do lists, and those apps certainly make sense for some people. At some point, however, we have to realize what works for us as individuals and sometimes a simple text file is sufficient. For many, going back to that basic tool can make life easier as sometimes the extra features with all the bells and whistles are a distraction, not a benefit.

Label makers may be another example of a tool that can over complicate things for you. I happen to like my own handwriting and will use a simple handwritten label depending on the project.  If handwritten labels meet your needs, go for it! They’re certainly simpler to create.

Sorting papers and naming files

Many files are easy to sort and name. Most people don’t struggle with how to file financial or medical information, but for random papers that fall outside the standard categories, things aren’t as obvious and it’s easy to get hung up on how and where to file those. I’ve found it simplifies my filing to have A through Z folders for such random things.  This eliminates the need for a file drawer full of folders containing only one piece of paper – one that I ultimately forget I have.  Some find it useful to create the filing equivalent of a junk drawer called “Stuff I don’t know where to file” or “Why can’t I find this when I need it?” or “Things clients bug me for.”  The name doesn’t matter as long as you use it.

Once we create these simple but less conventional types of files, many filing dilemmas disappear.

Giving things away

It can be easy to get caught up in trying to find the perfect new homes for things we no longer want or need, and sometimes that can be worth the time and effort. More often than not, the easiest answer is the best.

Selling things takes a lot of time and energy while the item awaiting a buyer is consuming valuable real estate in your space. Many times it is much simpler to just take it to The Salvation Army thrift store that is minutes from home instead of trying to photograph, sell, and ship it; or lug it to the consignment store only to be turned away and have to lug it all back home.



Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional Organizer
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts


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Categories:  Organizing Tips

About the Author

Jennifer Snyder

Jennifer Snyder

My name is Jennifer Snyder CPO, Chief Executive Organizer of Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts, a Waco-based company of Professional Organizers that is not only focused on organizing the clutter in your home or office but also clutter of the heart and mind. 

I am happy that you are taking an interest in the benefits of getting your home and life organized.  Living an organized life is for everyone!

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