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Good-bye Clutter Finale: What to DO with the Project Clutter

If you have a creative mind and a wide array of interests, you’ve probably started many projects over the years. So what can you do with the clutter these projects have created?

A few weeks ago, I encouraged you to join me in taking an honest inventory of projects that you’ve started but weren’t able to finish. The list doesn’t include assignments from your job, but only things you chose to pursue.

The next step is to decide what to do with your findings in each of these categories. Here are some simple ideas:

  1. Projects which are obsolete:  donate them or discard them.  I had a “starter” guitar that I used to play until I saved up to buy the nylon-string classical guitar that I really wanted.  So that “starter” guitar, even though it was still in great shape, had officially become clutter. I gave it away, making sure to find out what kind of documentation was required for a tax deduction.
  2. Projects you HAVE to complete:
    1. One option is to schedule a time to finish them ASAP.  Make a short to-do list, enlist the help of your family, and set a firm date to work on it.  We recently had new carpet installed in 5 rooms of our house, which required me to remove numerous items from those rooms into the hallway or the storage room.  The carpet looks great!  But the items I removed never got put back where they go.  Unfortunately, the family needed access to those items, so we’ve had to hunt for them or dig them out of storage every time we need them.  I just set a task reminder on my calendar to replace the items in 1 room at a time over the next few days.
    2. Another option is to hire someone to finish the project for you.  I had begun to scan old financial documents to electronic files, and put them in a box to be shredded.  But when I ran out of time and energy, the un-scanned papers remained in a pile, and the scanned papers remained in a box in my office.  Thankfully, a young lady who needed some extra money was available to complete the job for me with minimal instruction.  Next week, I’ll have her deliver the papers to a shredding service.
  3. Projects you want to complete… someday: put them in storage.  Once a year, you can revisit these items and decide if they are still of interest to you.  If not, they get moved to category 1 and donated.  My collection of decorating idea books was fun to look at.  But since my focus is on decluttering right now, decorating will have to wait.  I packed the books are into a storage box and put it away.

How is decluttering going for you? Please share your comments and discoveries below.  I’d love to hear from you!

On a personal note, I’ve enjoyed sharing this leg of my personal journey with you over the past couple of months, as I followed God’s directive to clear the clutter from my life. I’m planning to devote the next 2 weeks to tying up some loose ends.  Then I will return to feature some inspiring interviews with Christian men and women who are living out their faith in the marketplace!  Stay tuned!

Reflection: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,5,6).

Journal: Have you come up with any great ideas to keep the project clutter out of your life? Share your responses below!

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