Organizing Your Life: Declutter Everything (Focus on the Important Things) | Taylor Bruno | Skillshare

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Organizing Your Life: Declutter Everything (Focus on the Important Things)

teacher avatar Taylor Bruno, Organization Aficionado

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Closet

    • 3. Home

    • 4. Minimize Distractions

    • 5. Time Management

    • 6. Travel

    • 7. Money Matters

    • 8. Summary

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About This Class

It’s easy to accumulate things that take up physical and mental space, sometimes make us feel overwhelmed or an inability to focus on things that matter to us like family or friends. In this class, I’ll cover things like how to declutter your home, how to feel less overwhelmed by noise and media overload, and how to manage your finances better to declutter your entire life.

This class is a part of my series called Organizing Your Life, where I cover various topics including tools you can use to manage your to do lists, how to manage your time, and how to more efficiently use everyday tools like Google Chrome. You can check out my other classes by clicking on those links from my profile.

If you find yourself constantly feeling overwhelmed and like there is not enough time in the day, Follow me on Skillshare to learn about ways you can organize your life.

Meet Your Teacher

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Taylor Bruno

Organization Aficionado


I am a software designer at Netflix and organization is my life. I use the productivity tools to keep track of business projects and my personal life. I genuinely think the world would be a better place if everyone had better organization!

I live in Los Angeles with my husband and using the tools and methods I teach about, we managed our own 4-month home renovation with a team of contractors and we host elaborate dinner parties, themed TV premier parties, and game nights.

I'm always up for an organizational challenge or a good cup of tea, so feel free to reach out with any questions!


Check out my website to learn more about me and to subscribe to my mailing list to be notified when I publish new classes and share other organization ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: welcome to organizing your life de clutter Everything. If you've struggled with a lack of focus, have clutter everywhere, both physically and mentally or constantly feeling overwhelmed. You're not alone. Many of us struggle with these things every day. This class offer some pointers on how to take control of your life and gain that focus back through organization and removing things that are extraneous in your life. If you're human, chances are you'll find some ships in this class to help you declutter your life and feel less overwhelmed in your day today, de cluttering basically means removing anything from your life That's extraneous, whether that means onions, clothing, distractions or things that generally don't add to your happiness. Over the last 10 years of living in a small New York City apartment, I've gotten really good at decluttering my life, partly due to the pier space constraints that I have in this class. I'll cover things like how to declutter your home, how to feel less overwhelmed by noise and media overload, and how to manage your finances better to de clutter your entire life, both physically and mentally to help you stay focused on the important I'm a software designer and organization is my life. I use a number of organizational tools and methodologies to keep track of my work and personal life, and I genuinely think that the world would be a better place if everyone has better organization. This class is part of my Siri's called Organizing Your Life, where I cover various topics, including tools you can use to manage your to do list, how to manage your time and how to more efficiently, everyday tools like Google from you can check out my other classes by clicking on those links for my profile. Do you cluttering your life by removing the extraneous things in your life is the key focus of this class, and while it builds on my other classes, it's not necessary to watch those classes first. Now, if you're ready, we'll begin with some of the easier things, like de cluttering your physical space and move towards the harder things like managing your time and finance 2. Closet: Marie Condos Kon Mari Method of tidying up has been spreading around the world and for good reason. By eliminating physical things that can mentally weighs down By adding to the clutter in your life, you can free yourself up to focus on things that are important to you, like spending time with family or focusing on your work without distraction. I won't go into too much detail here, but check out her book for more tips. At a high level, according to the contrary method, you want to begin by removing all of your clothes from your closet and wherever else you keep them like a front entry closet drawers and seasonal storage. Then make a giant pile on your bed. I was going to look overwhelming, and that's kind of the point. You generally don't need a mountain of clothing. Begin by picking up each individual item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. You don't need to keep something just to keep it. And there are plenty of people who would appreciate that item of clothing. If it doesn't spark joy for you. It thought thes doesn't spark joy for you. Thank the item and started donate pile or a cell pile. Items that do spark joy will go into a separate pile, but not back in the closet just yet. Repeat this exercise until you have gone through every piece of clothing. Well, Kon Mari is one method you can use to tidy your closet. You can also try turning all of your clothes hangers around over the next few months as you wear something. Put the piece of clothing back with the hangar facing the right way in after 6 to 12 months , depending on how frequently want to check in on your progress. Evaluate the pieces of clothing that you have never warned by finding the hangers that are still facing the wrong way and ask yourself if you really need to keep that item. As you put items back in your closet, try to organize like items to keep your closet organized and looking tidy. One of Marie Condos tips is to store items in a drawer vertically so that you can always see what you have available to you. This is particularly useful for things like T shirts, gym clothes and underwear. Once you've done the full deep, clean and organization of your clothes. It's important to maintain that organization. You can do this by implementing the one in one out method where every time you purchase a new item, you must sell or donate one item. None of this information is mind blowing, but sometimes it's a nice reminder that we generally have more than we'll ever need, and it's essential to keep your physical possessions as minimal as possible in order to free up your mental space. Next, we'll move on to the rest of the home. 3. Home: the next step to de cluttering your home is to take inventory of all the pieces of furniture you have. As I mentioned, I've lived in a small apartment for the last 10 years. This means that I physically don't have room for very much. I have exactly what I need and no more. Try asking yourself if you really need those two night stands, those extra dining chairs or those armoires, keep your home clean and minimal By getting rid of pieces of furniture that you don't use and or appreciate. You likely have one too many pieces of furniture and possibly even one too many pieces per room, so sell or donate that item. This is especially true for toys, blankets, space heaters or other things that you may have laying around your home By getting rid of these things or finding a place for those stray items, you'll be amazed at how much more open and de cluttered your home will feel moving into the kitchen. It's also easy to accumulate extra appliances, dishes, silverware, serving platters and more. In New York, we always say no single use appliances, mostly because we just literally don't have the space to store them. Evaluate whether you really need a blunder of Item X and a food processor. Can one of those tools do the trick for all of your needs? The same goes for things like avocado slicers. You know those green tools that have a combo knife, it remover and avocado slicer, and one they just aren't necessary when a single knife will do the trick. Dishes, cuts and silverware are another culprit. Chances are you've accumulated sets of dishware in your early days, maybe after college, when perhaps another set when you upgraded to nicer things, perhaps a nicer set, even as a wedding gift or more. My guess is the 80 to 90% of the time you use a single set of dishes spending on your family size and how frequently you host. I recommend keeping a set of four or eight and donating the rest or putting the rest in the harder to reach places like the very top shelf of your kitchen. As you go through your kitchen constantly, try to consolidate and minimize. You can also try using the contrary method of putting everything in your kitchen or on the counter and then go through each piece individually. Another tip of hers is to not keep appliances, papers or other things on the counter itself. Everything should have its place and should be properly put away after each use. This helps avoid a massive cleanup because everything should already be put away where it needs to be. Now that we've touched on some ways to de clutter your physical space, let's move to some tips and tricks to de clutter your mental and emotional space. 4. Minimize Distractions: 30 years ago, you could read a paragraph in a book that had the potential to change your outlook on life . These days we tend to read or skim so many articles, blogged posts, tweets, Facebook posts and emails every day. That could have the same potential. But because we're trying to get through it all, we don't have the time, mental capacity or patients to really take what we're consuming to heart. We need to cut through all of that noise so that when we encounter that thing that has the potential to change our lives, we're ready to absorb it. In the age of constant distractions from cell phone notifications, the TV and the massive amount of media available at our fingertips, it's important. Just take a step back and understand what's important to you. What would happen if that text message or email goes unanswered for another 20 minutes? Probably nothing. While eating dinner, try to avoid having your phone, TV or other distractions on Put your phone on silent and put it out of sight to be mindful of your meal, appreciating the time you have to mentally process the things around you and to spend quality time with your friends and family. This holds true at home. On your commute and at work are those radio commercials adding anything except maybe stress to your life? If you're feeling particularly stressed out, I would also recommend keeping the music off to give your mind a break from sensory overload. Give yourself the opportunity to be mindful and noticed the things around. You appreciate where you are and what you have in that moment. It's also been shown that 15 minutes of silence before and after work can help you mentally process events from the day even subconsciously toe help you feel more at ease. Well, this may feel strange at first. For those who are used to some form of noise constantly, keeping auditory distractions off can help give your mind a break. Some studies have even shown that boredom induces a deeper level of creative thinking. So even if you're alone, try keeping the TV, phone, music and other things that cause noise off for a while. Think of it like meditation for your brain 5. Time Management: in my class about time management, I talk about the inefficiency of context, switching and multi tasking. Focusing on one thing at a time is another way to de clutter your life by ensuring that you dedicate all of your energy to completing that one task so that you can move on to something else. When we try to juggle too many things at once, whether at work or home, we often get overwhelmed and end up not finishing the things we were trying to do in the first place. Some other things you can try are minimizing the number of times throughout the day that you check your email, avoid having too many meetings as much as possible and try to keep a clean work space. You can also try adopting the mindset of constantly un subscribing from email newsletters and attempting to reach inbox zero to reduce the clutter in your life, check out my time management class for more details 6. Travel: de cluttering your day to day should also carry over into your travel if you're lucky enough to be able to travel, Travelling light is one way to de clutter your trip. When my husband and I travel for trips up to one week, we usually share one carry on roller bag for the both of us, plus our own small backpacks for things like our laptops and headphones. This means we're not carrying multiple bags through airports, public transportation and streets and can easily move around. Most people end up bringing about 30% more than they need to. When traveling well packing. Try to bring items that could be used in more than one way. A scarf or shawl is a great example of something that can be used as an accessory or a light jacket if needed. Being able to wash clothes during your trip can also significantly cut down on the number of things you need to bring. Regardless, once you're done packing, try to remove one of each type of item from your bag. Do you really need three pairs of shoes when two will do it, including the pair that you wear during your travel. Three pairs of pants and six tops can also probably be reduced down to two pairs of pants and four tops. If you're nervous about not having enough to wear on your trip, take a practice run by packing as you normally dio and take a mental note of what you do and don't wear on your next trip if you wear each item and get full use out of it than congratulations on already being an efficient packer. If not, try some of the suggestions above. Now let's move on to fiscal responsibility and de cluttering. 7. Money Matters: well, money matters could easily be a whole class. I'll touch on some easy things. You can try now to become more fiscally responsible. First, evaluate where and how you spend your money. They're a slew of APS and tools out there to help with us, but you can start by using pen and paper or the notes up on your phone. Keep it simple, and over the next week, take note of the amount that you spend where you spend it and maybe even try to categorize it like grocery transportation, eating out travel, beauty, etcetera. It's also important to keep track of how much money you're taking in. Once you have a good idea of these two things, you'll be able to see what our central and what are extraneous or unnecessary things that you spend money on. Rent, transportation, some food costs and health care, for example, are among those things that are necessary. Costs aside from those, evaluate how much you spend on things that are not essential to your life and what things you can do yourself for cheaper. For example, purchasing an expensive coffee every day may not be necessary when you can brew your own at home. Instead of getting a manicure every week, try doing your own nails at home to save money, go through each item and category and try to see if one it brings you joy and to whether it can be done for cheaper or not at all. You can then start to see how much money you're saving every week after taxes, depending on the stage in your life. The percentage you're saving every month will vary. If you're getting closer to retirement, you should be saving more than someone straight out of high school or college. Forming a budget is really just another way of practicing mindfulness around your money. Many people aren't prepared to handle an emergency like a car repair or health issue. Being aware of how and where you spend your money and creating a budget could help you save more to prepare for those unexpected situations. As I mentioned, I'll be creating an entire class on fiscal responsibility. But these are a few things you can try now to de clutter the extraneous things you spend your money on 8. Summary: We've covered a lot from keeping your physical spaces like your closet and home de cluttered to being mindful of distractions and keeping track of your finances. I hope you found this course helpful and that there are things you can take away from it to start de cluttering your life, understanding what things in your life are extraneous, and letting them go is the first step in de cluttering your life with less physical and emotional baggage weighing you down. You have more time and energy to dedicate to those things that are meaningful to you. I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions about particularly issues you're seeing with de cluttering your life that weren't covered here. Please let me know. There may be others in the class who are experiencing similar things, and we can all benefit from sharing them with each other. I also always love any feedback you have as I'm constantly trying to improve my crosses. Thank you for spending your time with me and hope to see you again in the future