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Leo Babauta, author of the blog zenhabits.net, offers the Zen to Done method, which helps us to become more organized and more efficient while simplifying our personal and professional life through a set of ten habits.

Zen to Done: a decluttering method for spring cleaning

What is Zen to Done?

To create his method, Leo Babauta was inspired by the best principles of other organizational systems such as FlyLady and Getting Things Done by David Allen combining them for the sake of simplicity and efficiency.
Although Leo Babauta recommends de-cluttering and tidying up like FlyLady, he has his own technique to unclutter an entire room in a matter of hours. Here's how to do it:

Clean the piece to unclutter

tidy up with Zen To Done - Photo: Ikea

  • Clear a surface that will be used as a workspace, this can be a table, a bed or the floor.
  • Stand at the entrance of the room.
  • Start with the area closest to you: a drawer, a shelf, a cupboard, a table, a desk, etc.
  • Empty this area completely and gather all its contents on the workspace.
  • Thoroughly clean the area that has just been uncluttered.

Ranger: keep or throw?

  • Sort into two piles: one pile for what you keep and the other for what you do not keep.
  • For each object, decide instantly in which pile to place it.
  • If it has not been used for months, place it in the second pile.

Storage of kept items

  • The sorting done, carefully tidy up what is kept.
  • Put the rest in a box to donate or recycle.

De-clutter quickly with the Zen to Done method

de-clutter with Zen to Done - Photo: Ikea

  • Once this area is complete, move to the drawer, shelf or next area.
  • Repeat these steps until the entire room is uncluttered and stored.
  • Thanks to this technique, it is possible to unclutter a room in less than two hours. If the room is very crowded, it can take up to five hours.
  • When the unpacking of the room is finished, savor and enjoy the result. You will feel a sensation of lightness!

Judith Crillen's opinion on Zen to Done

"The Zen to Done method is not just a decluttering method, but only one of ZTD's 10 habits is storage, and I used Leo Babauta's technique to unclutter my Tupperware® cabinet. I did not even use half of what I had, I quickly sorted and put an ad on the Internet to give them.
In less than 24 hours, I was able to get rid of and re-circulate two cases of Tupperware® without throwing them in the trash!
I really like Leo Babauta's method because it breathes simplicity and goes straight to the point. I recommend Zen to Done to all those who really want to simplify their lives, both privately and professionally."

Storing with the Zen To Done Method

Find all these tips to declutter his house in the book Detox your house Judith Crillen Rustica editions.

Storage techniques:

There are 3 other recognized methods for unpacking your home:

  • The Kon Mari method.
  • The Fly Lady method.
  • The method of Judith Crillen


Video Instruction: Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen - Animated Book Summary And Review