I love this letter from one of you! These principles really work and I love seeing them applied in other situations. There is so much value in making progress without creating a mess that has to be dealt with later.

Hi Dana,

I’ve been following you since 2016. I wrote a few times because your system just works. And it doesn’t just work in a house, I’ve also started applying it to my work.

I work in a library and I just acquired a long-neglected collection. The books need to be weeded and updated and the task is just completely overwhelming. I started doing what I thought was right and then I thought about what you always say. Do the easy stuff first. And there are easy things. There are books with a dot on them showing that they are over 20 years old which means they are very dirty so people don’t want to look at them. So I did.

And then I thought of your final decision rule and realized that I was doing a lot: pulling books off the shelf, sorting books into piles according to what to do with them, dealing in piles, rinsing and repeating. My desk was a mess, the collection was still overwhelming… the piles kept flowing into each other… It’s all things you talk about.

I now have a new weeding system. I bring a laptop and a cart and when I pull a book off the shelf I do everything I need to lay there in the piles and stick the book on the cart to take out. It takes about the same amount of time to finish a weed list, but the workflow doesn’t back up to my desk!

Slowly but surely, the collection is fitting better in the container and the shiny new books are circulating so much better than the dingy old ones. And best of all, the piles stay off my desk. I am now considering what other areas of my work could benefit from this method!

Allison

Applying decluttering to my job now take it there aslobcomesclean.com

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