• Cecilia Macaulay

Divide and Conquer. Decluter step 1.


Divide and conquer. Whenever I don't know how to proceed, these three words have reliably saved me, got me into action, and eventually got results. They works on any resisted task, from doing taxes to washing up dishes. Take an extra step, divide things up into smaller, see-able, more attractive tasks.

You are allowed to.

You Do have the time.


This was the sewing basket at lovely Remi's house.

I didn't dive in and start throwing things away. That comes later, after a proper diagnosis of how all this stuff came to be here, in this basket.

The kind of mess that repels your brain. Seperate out.

Place things in 'families' of like objects. Lined up at right angles, so your brain doesn't get scrambled and run away.




Fill in the sentence: "These things make me a good person who.......'

.....'sees the value in rejected, unwanted things, and has the skill to fix and reclaim them'.

Then, be that good person to the people in your life, and throw away the things.

Most of them never should have been manufactured in the first place. Now you know.



Things to keep, things to thank and throw away.

I did this without permission, but it was all reversible. Remi ended up agreeing. Everything got thrown away, except for one good pair of shorts, to be mended, and a heap of towels to cut up into colour coordinated cleaning cloths. Neutral colors only. Its disrespectful to use the purity of blue and other high-impact colours for dirty things. Doing so desensitises your spirit.

Now Remi is free to use her talents getting ragged lives and people in good order, not wasted on darning cheap socks she never should have bought.



Baskets are like freezers, repositiorys for things you don't want to deal with. Donate them. From now on, you put the mending on your sofa, with a needle, thread and scissors. If all the tools are in place, it will be irresistibly done, probably that day. Its like clicking that red button on facebook. We desire to.



This is Part One in a five part series on my re-translation of 5S. Its an environment management philosophy developed by Toyota, that makes visual management possible. Other miracles of productivity and flexibility then follow.

Tomorrows post is 'Subtract to Standard'. Feel free to send me in your 'before' pictures. I will help you make a great 'after' pictures possible. Its my dream for 2019 to create a 'Declutter and Re-set' handbook that anyone can use, with lots of reality-tested success stories included. Yours! If you know of any photographers or writers who might join in, send them my way.



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Cecilia Macaulay All Rights Reserved