Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: How to De Clutter with Better Decision-Making

Decisions, decisions, decisions… The process of decision making can be long and tedious. Important decisions require thorough decision making analysis- maybe even mapping it out on a decision tree. In this video I will show you how to make decisions better and faster. Following these steps will make your decision-making more efficient and less stressful. One of the first steps in learning how to de clutter is figuring out how to decide what stays and what goes. You CAN be that decision-maker!

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today’s Clutter Video Tip is about how to make better, smarter, faster decisions. So, you know decision making is huge in the organizing process. People don’t realize that clutter actually is delayed decisions and delayed actions. So think about everything you have sitting around on your counter or on your desk. That’s an action you haven’t taken or a decision you haven’t made. So, if you can make better, faster decisions, you will be more organized. So, here are five ways to do that.

First of all, you need to take ownership. If you have a pile of something on your kitchen counter, who’s going to clean that up? Is there any ambiguity about this? Are you expecting your spouse to do it and you’re not sure who is going to handle it? Well, why don’t you take ownership and have it be you, at least this time, and make it happen, because that’s the only way action comes about is when someone owns that.

Secondly, you want to set a deadline. So, we always joke around about how there’s no better way to get organized than to have a party at your house. Because you know everybody’s coming over, you’ve got to get it done. So deadlines can be very helpful to spur you on.

Third, you want to simply narrow your choices. Now, I’m a native Texan and I live here in Austin, Texas, and when you go to the supermarket there are over 100 choices for salsa. You can get the thick and chunky, you can get the chipotle, you can get the verde, and it’s very difficult to make that decision unless you have narrowed your choices down; if you know you’re only looking for verde sauce, that can be very helpful. So when you’re organizing I have a couple of tools to help you narrow your choices. First, for paper and information you can do one of three things: action, reference, or trash. Those are the three things you can do with paper or information. You either need to do something with it, keep it for later, or throw it away or recycle it. So when you stay high-level like that, it helps you get it done faster. If you’re doing physical items, you can think: keep, donate, or toss. Just stay high-level, don’t try to drill down on all the categories just yet, just get the big sorting done.

So the fourth way to make better decisions is to think about whether you are a satisficer or a maximizer. Now, this comes from a book by Barry Schwartz called The Paradox of Choice – Why More is Less. And he was explaining that there was some research done in the 50’s that found that there are two kinds of decision makers. Now, a maximizer is somebody who perfectionistically needs to investigate every possible choice of a decision. They always worry that there’s something better around the corner, and they’re never quite happy with their choice. They are always doubting themselves. A satisficer is who you want to be, so you can make faster, better decisions. They are a person who once they have found a decent option that meets their criteria and their standards, they move forward without worrying about whether there’s something better out there.

So the fifth way that you can make better, faster decisions is to set policies for yourself to make the decisions easier. Setting rules for yourself, like, “I will donate anything I haven’t worn in one year.” Or “I will unsubscribe and recycle any magazines that I haven’t read in three months.” So when you have these rules, the decisions are made in advance, and it’s much easier.

So if you have trouble making decisions, particularly at the store when you’re about to buy something like me with the salsa, you can get our Wallet Reminder Sleeves. These are for preventing clutter from entering your home in the first place. These are free when you go to our Free Tips page. You can see them there. There’s a little video about how they work. You can put your favorite credit or debit card inside the sleeves and they give you the five questions you should ask before buying anything. You can find out more about that at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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