Clean Up and Organize: Order in 1 Hour [4 Steps, 5 Tips]

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Tidying is one of the activities we like to push forward - usually much longer than cleaning up would actually take. Now it's over - in four easy steps.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.


Disorder: Do not see the forest for the trees

You probably know that: been on the road for a couple of days, rushing to pick things up every morning, because you were late again? Then left everything and - if you came home late in the evening, of course, no desire to clean up had? And then it looks like that - and it does not get any better, because you push the mountain out of the way of cleaning up in exasperation. The secret of order is really quite simple: Put something away every now and then - because then the mountain, which you have to get rid of, does not even matter.

Because this is precisely the problem with many untidy people: they no longer see the forest for the trees and do not know where to start cleaning up. But they can be helped - for example, by limiting the clean-up time to an hour from the start and thus reducing the fear of clearing-up stress.

Plan tidying up in time

Or with the fact that you clean up radically: Moves, for example, are a good opportunity to do what you actually have to do every now and then: mucking out - and radically, even with objects that you have cherished. How do you go about it properly?

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I remember well my first real move to Berlin: My problem back then was that I had simply lost track of my belongings. So that this does not happen anymore, I started with every new move in time with the planning - namely already at the move. I made sure that nothing confusing accumulates in the basement and I keep the overview in the apartment. This includes, for example, that I have repeatedly disposed of things. The thought that one would probably move again at some point motivates immensely.

It is harder to part from things you love

This is particularly hard on books that have been collected lovingly for years, but many of which you will never (again) read and that are simply the biggest and heaviest chunk when you move. Others may find it painful elsewhere, such as shoes, clothes, CDs or computer stuff.

But what would prevail in the end, if I do not separate myself from all these seemingly beloved, yet unnecessary things, would be the disadvantages. And that's where it helps if I keep them in mind.

5 tips on radical mucking

Here are my tricks I use to motivate myself to radically kill:

  • I'm thinking of the last move, especially the stress of building the rather large bookshelf, the time it took to sort the books - and the back pain.
  • I think of the cost savings through fewer boxes during the move and the time savings.
  • I sort out in stages: The first time I think maybe that I want to keep this or that book necessarily, the second or third round then it comes away.
  • I visualize my goal: How many meters on the shelf should be free?
  • Selling sweetens the farewell: If I manage to sell my books instead of just throwing them away, it makes my farewell easier. An equally worthwhile alternative is to donate them to charity.

Tips and tricks for clearing out

What other tips and tricks do you know to separate yourself from sweet but unnecessary objects? For despite all the organization, in a few years more unnecessary items accumulate than you might have thought. Therefore, it is always necessary to once again order in the first place.

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This is all the more necessary, of course, if the move is getting closer, then you should urgently muck it out again - especially where it might hurt. But order and clearing out is also always important - and this method is particularly easy.

In 4 steps and 1 hour to perfect order

In this case, 15 minutes are scheduled for each work step. It is best to set a clock or an alarm clock. And: nobody and nothing should disturb you.

1. Develop strategy

In the first 15 minutes you develop a strategy: What is the purpose of the cleanup? What should it look like in the end? Prepare the necessary tools to clean up, such as garbage bins and storage, and make sure there is enough room in the organizing system to pick up any objects lying around. If you use the first fifteen minutes of optimal planning, you can do the rest better and faster.

2. Make a stack

When you have completed the planning phase, set the clock or alarm again to 15 minutes. Take everything lying around and place it on one of the three piles: A for papers and things you want to keep. B for papers you still need to review. C for papers and things you want to throw away. It is best to throw these directly into the previously prepared waste containers. When the clock or alarm beeps, you must be ready. There should not be anything left in the room except the heaps.

3. Decide what gets away and what stays

Now comes the hardest step: again, you only have 15 minutes to go through the papers from Stack B and decide if you still need them or throw them away. If you still need them, put them on pile A. But you should also know where you want to put them in your order system. If not: Immediately to C in the waste container. You will see: By the time pressure you decide much more rigorously - in case of doubt throw away! If alarm clock or watch beep, only stack A and the bin should be left.

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4. sorting

You now have another 15 minutes to put things from Stack A into your order system. Now it shows how good your system is, how well you planned, and how rigorously you cleared out. If you can not accomplish the task in 15 minutes, think again of these three aspects. Now all you have to do is take the garbage away - ready!

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