Layering


layer cake DSC_0377.3.jpg

What you may discover when you begin to organize is that there are usually many layers to your system of belongings. Your things may be like many tentacles and threads weaving in and out from one another. It is rarely simple or black and white. Once you start to uncover one thing, it's like pulling out a thread that ends up causing this larger unraveling as you see how it's connected to many other things. It starts to feel very complex very soon. The good news is that you can deconstruct your layers by working with a layered process of your own. Here are the basic steps to the process: Pick one area that you would like to organize such as your office, your bedroom, or your kitchen. 1) What doesn't belong? Remove it. Beginning with the surface of things, start with what you can see. This could be the surface of your desk, what is on your shelves, or on the floor. You are essentially giving your office a basic facelift. Remove anything that doesn't belong, or that doesn't pertain to your office functioning as you currently use it. 2) Check a little closer. Put like items together For the next layer, see if you have any areas where similar items are together. If not, or if you have a lot of stragglers, put them together as much as possible into sub-areas. Don't worry about organizing it perfectly; you are putting like items together in order to have clarity about what you have. You aren't doing the nitty gritty organizing yet. 3) What do you really need? Streamline your areas. For the next layer, now that you have all the pieces together, check into these specific areas and determine if what is in it should be there. For example, if you have 500 pens, perhaps you decide you don't need to have this many on hand. Or perhaps there is something else that you have had for 10 years that you've never used. This layer is not something to stress about-it's for decisions that are easy to make. 4) How is it organized? Looking at aesthetics and function. At this point, you have more clarity about what you have, you know where to find them and there is nothing excessive or not useful here. Now you are ready to look with a little more insight into what you have left residing in each of these sub-areas. See if they can be organized in a way that makes sense to you, is user friendly and is pleasing to you. Approaching decluttering and organizing in layers gives you a way to deal with the natural complexity of your life and your things with much more ease. You don't have to know how all the layers intersect and why. You just need to know how to excavate layer by layer! What you may discover when you begin to organize is that there are usually many layers to your system of belongings. Your things may be like many tentacles and threads weaving in and out from one another. It is rarely simple or black and white.

Once you start to uncover one thing, it's like pulling out a thread that ends up causing this larger unraveling as you see how it's connected to many other things. It starts to feel very complex very soon.

The good news is that you can deconstruct your layers by working with a layered process of your own. Here are the basic steps to the process:

Pick one area that you would like to organize such as your office, your bedroom, or your kitchen.

1) What doesn't belong? Remove it.

Beginning with the surface of things, start with what you can see. This could be the surface of your desk, what is on your shelves, or on the floor. You are essentially giving your office a basic facelift. Remove anything that doesn't belong, or that doesn't pertain to your office functioning as you currently use it.

2) Check a little closer. Put like items together

For the next layer, see if you have any areas where similar items are together. If not, or if you have a lot of stragglers, put them together as much as possible into sub-areas. Don't worry about organizing it perfectly; you are putting like items together in order to have clarity about what you have. You aren't doing the nitty gritty organizing yet.

3) What do you really need? Streamline your areas.

For the next layer, now that you have all the pieces together, check into these specific areas and determine if what is in it should be there. For example, if you have 500 pens, perhaps you decide you don't need to have this many on hand. Or perhaps there is something else that you have had for 10 years that you've never used. This layer is not something to stress about-it's for decisions that are easy to make.

4) How is it organized? Looking at aesthetics and function.

At this point, you have more clarity about what you have, you know where to find them and there is nothing excessive or not useful here. Now you are ready to look with a little more insight into what you have left residing in each of these sub-areas. See if they can be organized in a way that makes sense to you, is user friendly and is pleasing to you.

Approaching decluttering and organizing in layers gives you a way to deal with the natural complexity of your life and your things with much more ease. You don't have to know how all the layers intersect and why.

You just need to know how to excavate layer by layer!


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