Time Management

July 11, 2012 by  

Clutter Messes with Your Time Management

Does Clutter Make me Late? You would be surprised at home you manage your time can be influenced by clutter around your house.

cluttered office


Clutter can make you late!

“What, do you mean by that?” you may say. But clutter and time management can go hand in hand as a problem.
“Where are my keys? I know I just laid them here, maybe they are under this stack of mail.” “I just need to grab that report for the meeting, but where is it?” “Mom, where did my red jacket go? I’m going to be late for school!”
Do any of these sound like your house?
When you have extra clutter sitting around choking up the “clean, clear, calm” space, then you also have clutter sitting in your head…choking up the “clean, clear and calm” space in your brain. When you do not have a clear brain to think with, you are going to have too many thoughts…too many things jumbled in your head and lose track not only of what needs to be done, but in what time frame it needs to be done in. Simply put, Too much stuff in your house + Too much stuff in your head = Being Late.
Being late out the door, being late to pick up the kids, being late with reports due, being late paying bills, being late to the meeting – sound familiar?

So what do you do? Clearing out the clutter from your home will result in clearing out the clutter from your head which will in turn help you to focus and plan your day more productively which will then lead to being on time.
Sounds simple doesn’t it….NOT!

How Do I Clear out the Clutter?

Use your 5 signs to designate your piles to sort.

sorting guidelines



Get white trash bags for your donate and black for trash (so you don’t mix them out when you take them out of your house.
I prefer clear plastic storage bins for long term storage.
Make sure you have some form of labels to label your bins.
Give yourself 2 hours of time if you are able. Do not think you will get an entire room done, just start out with a smaller goal.

Pick up each item, look at it fast and think:
1) Do I use this?
2) Do I need this?
3) Do I like this?
4) What is the worse thing that can happen if I don’t have this?
Don’t spend more than about 5-10 sec. on each item, otherwise memories start popping in and you “personalize” that item. You want to keep it “depersonalized”, otherwise it can be too hard to get rid of.

Time Management

Break down your day into 15 minute increments.
For instance: If you have to be at the school by 3:00 to pick up the kids, but you need to go to the bank and grocery store first then plan it this way:
3:00 – Be at School
2:45 – Leave for school. (It takes 10 min. to get there from school – but use 15)
1:45 – Be at grocery to do the shopping.
1:30 – Leave from bank to go to grocery. (It only takes 8 min. to get there, use 15)
1:15 – Leave for bank. (It only takes 10 min. but use 15)
So to get to the school by 3:00, you need to leave the house by 1:15. You will have an extra 17 minutes to play with if there is traffic, or if the grocery store is crowded. If you end up being early, just keep a book you are reading or a steno pad in your car to make a “to do” list.
Now make sure that 15 minutes before you get ready to leave the house you get your keys, grocery list, banking items ready and have stopped by the bathroom.
So if you need to, set your timer on your stove for 1:00. Once you get in the habit of using 15 minute increments to plan things out, it will become easy and natural and you won’t have to worry about being late.
Because your clutter is now cleaned up off that kitchen counter, you can find those keys and bank book and grocery list and you can get out the door on time!
Time management is much easily accomplished when you do not have clutter blocking your path!

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3 Responses to “Time Management”
  1. I love this idea! As an organizational freak, I am always looking for ways to improve the system, and this is fantastic. Thanks Sandy!

  2. Sue says:

    Hey Sandy,

    I’ve often joked that my headstone will say, “Manana” since I have been a procrastinator all of my life. I am domestically challenged to say the least. I have started taking some meds to help me stay focused and I am going to be turning to you and your blog. I teach, so during the school year I pin my hopes on the “free” time of the summer. I realize that cleaning/organizing should not be put off or the task is overwhelming. I also realize I need to tackle my huge disorganized house and life using baby steps. When I have a great day (like Tuesday) I have the sense to congratulate myself for the inroads I have made. When the next day isn’t as productive, I am learning not to berate myself and just keep on the path. I am leaning to tell myself that 15 minutes of cleaning is better than 15 minutes of not cleaning.
    So…I am planning on visiting you and your blog and hope to keep you posted on how the battle goes. Thanks for such great tips!

  3. Sandy says:

    You’re welcome Jules!

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