What’s Your Clutter Style?

Posted January 12, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

Clutter. Whether you’re the world’s most organized person or a total mess, we all deal with clutter at some point in our lives. Our professional life gets busy and suddenly we realize there’s a pile of mail sitting on our home entry table that hasn’t been sorted in a month. Vice versa, our personal lives get busy and that tendency to leave work five minutes early gives way to piles of papers on your desk you never seem to get around to filing.

We all have clutter – but what kind of clutter are you most susceptible to? Peter Walsh is Oprah’s personal declutter guy, and he recently gave O readers a wake-up call based on the usual suspects in “clutter styles” with “What’s Your Clutter Style?

Below is just one of Peter Walsh’s categories and the advice for the culprits (seriously, my husband needs to read this). Are you like him? A techie clutterer? Click here to read the rest of Peter Walsh’s advice and the other types of clutter.

The Techie Clutterer

Drawers, cabinets, and desk weighed down by a metastasizing tangle of cords, chargers, remotes, and half-full USB drives, many belonging to clunky devices dating to the ’90s.

Twenty- and 30-something Apple devotees; eBay enthusiasts; grandparents terrified to pitch the cord that connects their digital camera to their computer.

Walsh’s Three-Step Plan

1. Banish boxes.

“There was a time when you could sell used electronics, so it made sense to keep the original packaging,” says Walsh. Unfortunately, “no one wants your old gadgets anymore. Technology moves too fast.” He recommends recycling an item’s box within a month of purchase and donating old devices to a women’s shelter. (When you move, pack your electronics in bubble wrap—or better yet, a towel.)

2. Label all wires.

With a label maker or small piece of masking tape, differentiate camera cords from BlackBerry chargers; note contents of all minidrives. If you’re feeling ambitious, corral wires into a “charging station” to eliminate the nightly game of hide-and-seek with your phone cord.

3. Store smartly.

Walsh suggests labeling four shoebox-size containers “look,” “listen,” “travel,” and “data,” and placing them on a shelf. “Look” stores anything visual (the charger and memory card for your camera); “Listen”, anything audio related (iPod accessories, an iPhone car charger); “Travel,” anything vacation related (a portable GPS, plug adaptors); and “Data”—well, you get the picture (mini flash drives, a wireless network card).

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."