Keeping Things Empty

One strategy I use to help secretly increase my productivity and keep my house clutter-free is to focus on keeping things empty. Naturally, this only applies to certain things, but when applied routinely it can be effective to make a difference.

Some of the things I aim to keep empty in my physical world are the trash can, recycling bin, compost collector, sink (from dirty dishes), dish drainer, laundry basket, and the clothes drying rack. Most of these tasks are all things I dislike strongly, but also ones that usually don’t take too much time (laundry excepted). By keeping them empty, it makes me feel good, like I accomplished something to take care of myself and my home, even when life gets hectic. This in turn helps me to maintain motivation and stamina to work on other things. Even when I don’t end up working on anything else, I already feel good that I maintained these few small, but vital areas, in the home.

In the digital world, however, I don’t do as well to keep things empty. Some of my emptying goals are my email inbox(es), my “Next Actions” and “Waiting For” folders in my email(s), my digital camera and the camera roll on my devices. This is mostly because the volume and speed with which things accumulate make it really challenging to maintain.

Regarding the digital photos, by “empty” the camera roll on my devices, what I really mean is organize the photos by labeling them or grouping them in a folder and then transferring them to my central digital repository. I often fall behind on transferring the photos to my repository and end up doing them all at once. It usually takes a chunk of time and a lot of patience. However, I am pretty good at grouping photos on my devices into folders right away. This helps me to find things quickly later and gives me a chance to delete out the bad ones to free up memory for things I really want to keep.

If you decide to try out the “keeping things empty” strategy, start small with something easy and manageable. I’ve discovered it’s an uncomplicated way to get some desired results and feel positive.

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