I’m a huge fan of the “start over” approach when it comes to cleaning things – especially if you’re planning to move soon or looking for ways to minimize your lifestyle and do more with less. I’m planning a move, so it’s a great time to stop and take inventory of exactly what I do and the tools I used to get it done, which of course leads me directly to a pile of things I need, things I like, and things I can get rid of.
So over at Lifehacker (and by proxy, an original post at Unclutterer,) they outline a great process towards getting familiar with the things you use every day, labeling them as such, and then comfortably knowing that you really don’t need all of the other junk you have lying around:
* Take all of the supplies out of the drawer and put them in a small box.
* Clean out your desk organizer and the drawer.
* Go about your work.
* When you need an item, take it out of the box, use it, and then put it away in the top desk drawer.
* After five days have past, review the items that made it into the top desk drawer and make sure that they are organized in the best way for your needs.
* The items that remain in the box on your desk do not belong in the prime real estate of your top desk drawer. Sort through the items and toss out, recycle, or pass along to a co-worker anything that is pure clutter in your desk. Find a shelf or lower drawer where the items you need but use less frequently can be stored.
I think you could do this a little quicker if you have the conviction to get rid of things that you know for fact you definitely don’t need, but if you’re definitely the type of person who needs to “prove to yourself” that you don’t actually use that item that’s been sitting on your desk collecting dust, this is a great way to go about it.