Photo: Dave Lauridsen
STEP 1: Group Like Materials Together
In order to help Joanna Wilson, (left, in her "before" office), a 25-year-old photographer with a serious home office clutter problem, Peter Walsh, organizing expert and author of Enough Already! Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You, starts off by asking what works. Joanna likes the two, large desks, but admits it's hard to find things. "There's software. There's CDs. The desk gets cluttered fat—stuff explodes all over the house," she says.
Step one? Peter asks Joanna to clear the desk and shelves, grouping like materials together: a stack of blank CDs and binders with backup CDs in one box, billing materials in another. This exercise not only helps Peter's clients figure out how much space each category requires but shows them the duplicate staplers or outdated equipment they've accumulated. As he's talking, Joanna unearths cords to electronics she no longer owns—and an overdue parking ticket.
We Hear You!