At this point you've gone ahead made notes using the practice of self-observation, by watching and recording how you feel and what you think as you move around in your space. So, now is the time to put those notes to use.
If you haven't taken the notes yet, go back and read about how to collect them in my blog post, "Journaling to Learn Your Organizational Habits"
Now once you've got them, start by sitting down and simply reading through them. For some, that'll be enough. The insights gained will be so obvious that you'll know exactly what to do next. For others the information might need a little more organizing.
The best way to organize anything is to sort it. And the best way to sort is by creating categories. Anything can be a category as long as it makes sense to you.
Start by trying to categorizing by emotional charge. As you read through, take time to meditate on your emotional reactions to each item. Get a sense of any feelings: irritation, anxiety, hope, excitement and then rate each item by the intensity of emotional spark. This is not about polarities, either positive or negative, but the amplitude, the strength of the spark, both good and bad.
How you feel about certain aspects of your space and how intense those feelings are will give you a lot of information about where to start. Maybe the most upsetting spaces need to be left for later in the project. And attacking the space you're most excited about will give you the stamina and energy to be ready for it.
Now, if you've organized your notes by feeling and you want to sort them even more, or if that's a technique that doesn't resonate with you, you can continue to break them down even further. Try room by room. The most intense reactions might be to a bunch of problems that exist in one room. In that case, that room may be good to tackle first.
Another way to sort could be by routine - "going to work, walking the dog, eating healthy, getting into my passions" - and so on. If 70% of the things in your notes pertain to the task of getting ready for work, then that's a good place to start.
Of course there will be lots of crossover. This is just a practice of engaging in self awareness within your space and amongst your things. There is no specific formula. It will unfold perfectly for what you need.
So, don’t stress the details. The categories will reveal themselves. There's no right or wrong. This is a fantasizing and planning phase. Any interaction with your notes will give you the even bigger degree of separation that you need to get your synapses firing and will help break things down into smaller, more manageable divisions.
When you're done you’ll have your thoughts contained on the paper and categorized into groups that resonate with you. Then you can use all of that information to continue to guide you as you clear and organize your way towards having the perfect spaces to serve your life.
Now stay tuned. Next time, I’ll talk about the hands-on process of getting down and dirty with your stuff in a step-by-step guide to the dreaded task of clearing of your clutter.