How to Master your Muck

I've read many books on organizing and optimizing your life. How to Master your Muck does a good job of laying out the steps in simple, easy to understand language.

Kathi starts with the basics. Many people try to clean out one area by moving things into another area, the piles grow, and they get frustrated and quit. Having the mess around makes every day annoying. A new technique needs to be brought in to resolve all of this.

You need to clear out space from your life - and time from your schedule - to reach your dreams. The average executive wastes 6 weeks a year just sorting papers. If there's an emergency - a fire or such - could you instantly grab your important photos / documents and get out?

Start by getting lots of boxes and SORT. Have a recycle bin and shredder there. Donate things to charity, where they can help other families prosper. Scan in papers you can, and shred the originals. Put reference and policy statements in external storage. Have your action "immediate" files separate. Get your desk CLEAR.

Sort out all your supplies, recycle old cartridges, get your pens and other items in labeled boxes. Put CDs into 3-ring binders for easier storage. Purge out old cords! The average person wastes 12 weeks every YEAR just looking for things ! What could you do with an "extra" 12 weeks?

Scan your business cards. Set up a system of storage and scheduled prompts for contacts. Set your inbox up with auto-sorting rules, folders for projects, and auto-responses for commonly asked questions. Try to check it only a few times a day. Let your own task list be the key thing you follow in a day.

Write down your goals, share them with others, and focus on them. They're more likely to get achieved that way. Clear out old clothes, many people only wear 20% of their wardrobe. The rest is wasted! Hand them over to others who really need them. 80% of women wear the wrong sized bra because they've gained weight or aged. Get a fitting and make sure you're presenting the best image you can be. Create that new energy and opportunity for yourself.

I did have a huge issue in here - she tells you to THROW AWAY clothes like faded sweaters. What??? Every recycling book I've ever read tells you to NEVER EVER throw away clothes. Old fabric is awful for the waste stream and fills up tons of bulk in our trash. Always donate those items, even things beyond wearing. The fabric can be recycled in all sorts of ways. No fabric should ever go into the waste stream.

In general a very useful book for anyone who has any clutter, paper management, or inbox / contact overload to get a handle on. Well recommended.

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