This podcast resonated with me so much! Your decluttering strategy of taking things to the place where you would look for them first RIGHT AWAY has been one of the biggest helps to me in my decluttering process over the past few years. What you describe here as “linear decluttering” is exactly what I have been thinking about – and telling my uninterested 10yo son followed by my only slightly more interested husband about – with great zeal.
Example of this in action: I am cleaning off my dresser (aka the place where everything goes to die) as a Christmas gift to my husband (per his request). I found a van repair receipt. I have a folder for that! I scanned it (I try to keep an electronic file for vehicle stuff as well) and walked to the filing cabinet. But, the files weren’t there! I quickly remembered it was in the stack of files we put in our fire safe to take with us when we were out of our house for renovations this summer. So I went to the safe, which, of course, was locked. Not to fear, I have a place where I look first for the keys! But … they weren’t there. And then came that haunting memory from a few months ago of my husband telling me upon moving back in, “The keys to the safe are still here. [Where, oh memory?!] You might want to put them back where they go before you forget. [Too late.]”
What I did: I managed to find the keys, got the files out of the safe, put them back in the drawer where I look for them first, filed the receipt, and put the keys back in their permanent home.
What I did not do: I did not organize the drawer where they keys were found. I did not rethink where I keep these files. And, perhaps most importantly, I did not put that receipt in a pile of papers to deal with some day … er, year … as I always used to do.
Because of your principles, I did not completely clear my dresser yesterday. But because of your principles, everything that has come off of that dresser is a task completed. No keep pile. No papers to be sorted pile. No put away later pile. Nothing has been stuff shifted except a small pile that requires my husband’s input.
Thank you for all you do.