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Need to organise your home? The three Ls are the secret to finding time to declutter

‘Writing lists lightens the mental load’, according to professional organiser Sarah Reynolds.

Sarah Reynolds Irish organiser

YOU CANNOT ORGANISE your home without examining your relationship with time.

Therefore, if we’re going to declutter, the time period we require had better jump out at us waving frantically and screaming ‘Pick me, pick me! You have nothing else to do!’.

Chances of this happening? Slim, very slim – unless you know exactly how all your time and all your other priorities are mapped out.

When you know the time you have available and how you use it, as well as your tasks and their priority levels, then, and only then, can you allocate slots of time to decluttering. And other non-urgent tasks, for that matter.

Clutter has built up over time and you need time to shift it. The amount of time you need to give it depends on the amount of clutter and disorganisation you’re dealing with and what result you want.

You have to make time to do it, but this is often easier said than done. How do you find this time of which I speak? Consider the three Ls:

  • List it
  • Log it
  • Lay it out

Write your lists, log your time and lay out this information in a schedule.

‘Lightens my mental load’

Let’s start with a list. Most people have written a list of things they need to get done. Some people, like myself, do this regularly. Some people love lists; others loathe them.

I, of course, think they work. Now, I don’t necessarily manage to tick off everything on my list, but what I love about a list is that it gets things out of my head. Life is very busy and every day is filled with things I have to do for the family, the house, work, friends and myself. Having that all jumping around my subconscious is just not for me. So I write a list.

This lightens my mental load. Seeing everything written down allows me to distinguish the important stuff from the not-so-important stuff. When I can do that, I can plan and prioritise. The very act of writing the list helps me focus on the things that require my attention.

Final Cover - Organised

Master to-do list

A Master to-do list is for your short to medium-term to-dos. These are the tasks that are hurtling towards you every day, week and month, so fast that many of them remain unticked!

The Master List is getting everything written down and out of your head – calming the hamster in the wheel. That’s all it is.

I suggest splitting the Master List into home and work. Then you can see at a glance what you need to do in both ‘lives’.

It will help you schedule your work so that you get more time at home, and it will allow you to slot some personal tasks into your work day – such as ‘schedule the dentist’ or ‘sign school notes’.

Here’s a sample Master List:

Page 43 Source: Ellen Monnelly

Sarah Reynolds is the author of Organised: Simple Ways to declutter your house, your schedule and your mind.

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Read: ‘People who brag about being busy will always be average. They’ll never accomplish anything’>

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About the author:

Sarah Reynolds  / Irish organiser

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