This is my old list. Since I first made this list of clutter projects I need to do I have actually completed some of these projects. Not all of them, but most of them. I did end up redoing the list before, but this week I decided to remake the list from the bottom up, including some of the outstanding projects while listing new ones, including a couple of returning projects. I didn’t stop there though. This week was a real list fest, but since that’s only interesting for so long, let’s talk about the benefits and negatives of making one of these lists. The goal is to be a master of the clutter, not trading “clutter slave” for “project slave”.

I also made lists for my other website. I have a few different categories of review on my media review site, a couple of which show up here when it involves a book, movie, or comic I own, but there are other article series that just involve media I find online or something I saw elsewhere. I wanted to keep a total of topics I’ve reviewed under some of these special article series. Free Comic Inside (the source of Mini-Comic Reports here at The Clutter Reports) is the only one I’ve kept up to date, noting which ones I personally own and what I have to find scanned online as well as what’s already been reviewed in articles. (Since online scans don’t qualify under my definition of clutter, unless you count the virtual clutter for stuff I’m saving, I haven’t reviewed the ones I can only find online as Mini-Comic Reports, and it’s been awhile since I looked at one I own physically.) I also did one as a sort of schedule for various art projects I’m working on, from my weekly comic strip to other comic and art-related projects. I’m hoping it’s a motivator to work on something and improve my artistic and writing skills.

Two things I really need to note here. First of all, if you’re the kind of person who would look at this long list of projects and would actually find that more of a deterrent, then for the love of God DO NOT MAKE A LIST! A list of projects for me is to not spend a week wondering what to do or deciding there’s too many to do and surrender to the hoard. The goal is to know what projects I have to get done and can do them in an orderly fashion, wiping it off the list when I’m done with a sense of accomplishment. I’ve gotten the list down pretty low both times and I don’t list EVERY project I have to do. If you want to make this easier for you I recommend maybe listing the various clutter projects you have to do on little pieces of paper and putting them in some kind of container (the traditional hat is too easy to knock over), maybe a used pill bottle or coffee can, with a marking that it’s clutter projects. When it’s clutter clearing time, draw a project out and do that project. If it’s one you might have to do again put it back in the container. If not, toss it in the recycle or since it should be a small piece throwing it out should be okay. You can even use old receipts if the back is blank and you don’t need the receipt anymore, or whatever scrap paper you have handy. Just write on it large enough to see and a decent size receipt should have room for around four projects. And don’t add to the container if you aren’t sure it’s already in there or you’re going to confuse yourself. “I thought I cleaned up the combination fallout and zombie shelter last month?”

The other is don’t be a slave to…THE LIST!!!!!!!!!!. This is going to be enough of a chore as it is. Why make it harder on yourself? You’re having enough trouble getting yourself to do it or even find ways to make it fun so you can trick…I mean get the kids or your spouse/partner/totally unsuspecting friends and relatives to help. Look at how much time and energy you have that day and see which project you have the ability to accomplish. You don’t have to do them in order. Or maybe a project will come to your immediate attention, like just realizing your junk drawer is worse than you thought or a room really needs to get done before company comes over in a few days. By all means, forget the list or at least the order you have projects in and focus on the current needs. If it’s on the list you can wipe it off out of sequence. If you’re going the draw out paper route, maybe it’s one you’ll have to do again? Otherwise you’ll either have to go digging or make a note somewhere that it’s done.

The list shouldn’t be your master. It’s there to give you an idea what you need to have done that week or however you schedule clutter time. Maybe you can do a little of the project each day (like going through the backlog of mail and email or organizing a large collection into something that allows you to find something like my seemingly neverending comic organizing mega-project) without leaving too much of a mess around you. If clutter-cleaning causes clutter in your life then you’ve achieved the opposite of your goal, no matter how temporary it is. Yes, I’ve had a table sit in the middle of my studio for over a week so there are exceptions depending on the project, but while some projects will demand a lot of time and effort you have to push yourself forwards to begin with. The list should never make it harder for you to get the interest to do it. You just end up with a lot of clutter still in your way, a dry ease board going unused, or a bottle filled with little papers. Allow yourself some spontaneity. Don’t panic if you couldn’t do anything that week due to family events, illness, or other emergencies. If the board isn’t cut down this week, there’s always next week. Just don’t let it go too long. That’s how we all got into this mess in the first place, right? 😀

Now I have my clutter projects organized as well as my review and art projects. The next step is to get them done. I want to focus on the email one that is still to be done. Since there won’t be much to talk about there it’s time to go through another box of Transformers, so get ready for a lot of toy robots that turn into toy vehicles for the next few weeks. I want to start listing some more clutter for sale before the holiday buying season, which is why it’s on the new list. Hopefully some of my clutter will make a nice gift for someone else to enjoy. I’ll let you know if I stop to do something else or gain some interesting insight going through the email but I had a build-up before 2016’s huge delay and I want to take a stab at getting that down a lot more. It might be nice to see an empty e-mail box as much as an empty list.