Jump Start January: Week 2 Day 1

Time for a change of theme for the next seven days – we’re moving on to Declutter Week. Clutter can drag you down, hold you back, cause waste and inconvenience, and generally make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. The trick is to kill it one small section at a time, and put simple structures in place to prevent it coming back.

Schedule for the week

Today’s activity

Today we’re starting off with all the things we lug around with us during an average day, so that’s a declutter for your everyday coat pockets and work bag.

Like all declutters, this should leave you a little lighter, happier and more productive.

It’s a physical declutter that follows the important principles of all declutters, i.e.

  • Think about purpose first
  • Empty the item / space
  • Clean it up
  • Sort out the clutter into defined categories
  • Add organisation
  • Put important chosen items back
  • Make a shopping list (optional)
  • Get rid of recycling, charity donations and rubbish

Let’s go!

  • Think about purpose first: Work bags are for being organised and professional, but they aren’t just for work. Does your bag also need to carry your lunch / keep you looking well groomed / get you to the gym or out for the evening?
  • Empty the items: Empty your coat pockets and bag contents onto a table. Work as quickly as possible.
  • Clean up: Brush any lint out of coat pockets, and decide whether the garment needs a wash or dry clean. Take the bag outside and give it a shake. If it’s fabric or non-leather, does it need to be washed or wiped? If it’s a good quality leather bag, give it a clean and nourish with a recommended product such as one from the Collonil range (which includes waterproofing products).
  • Sort out the clutter into defined categories: Working as fast as you can – setting a timer if necessary – sort into piles to A) Keep in the bag or coat pocket, B) Keep but put away somewhere else, C) Keep but mend first,  D) Give to charity or sell, E) Put in recycling, F) Throw away in the bin. Try to only pick each item up once, and remember to make quick decisions or you may find yourself becoming sidetracked.
  • Add organisation: A pencil case for bits and bobs or a makeup bag can bring order to most messy bags. You may also wish to add a bright or visible keyring or phone case to help find things more easily, or a key or purse/wallet chain to reduce the possibility of loss or theft. If you have more than one usual work back then consider buying a removable ‘bag-in-bag’ organiser insert to ensure you can grab everything that’s important in a hurry.
  • Put important chosen items back: Make sure the items you use most often are the most easily accessible, along with any emergency items (for example, medication such as asthma inhalers, or a personal alarm etc).
  • Make a shopping list (optional): Buy what you need sooner rather than later, if you can afford it. Do you need a new bag or new coat? A new umbrella? Earphones to make your commute less grotty?
  • Get rid of recycling, items to sell, charity donations and rubbish: Get the rubbish and recycling out of your house right now – don’t put it off for another minute. Take charity donations to the collection point today or at the latest by the end of this coming weekend. Get the remaining items mended or listed for sale by the end of the weekend too.

Enjoy your sparkly, uncluttered bag and non-overloaded coat pockets!

Have you been putting off that decluttering for a while? What else do you need to declutter?

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  1. Thanks for the tips. I carry so much junk around with me it’s unbelievable. After reading this I’ve just found a fiver tucked away in the inside pocket of my handbag and an earring I’ve been looking for for weeks. Hooray!

  2. Thanks Jenni. Glad you liked it, and it’s nice to see that Magic Fivers still exist.

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