Spring cleaning tips from Lifehacker

Last week, Lifehacker jumped on the spring cleaning bandwagon and published a series of posts dedicated to uncluttering in “Lifehacker’s Ultimate Clutter Cleanout“:

All week at Lifehacker we’re putting extra focus on uncluttering your world, ranging from your home, your personal finances, your workspace, your digital world, and more. So sit back, relax, and let the clutter rinse right off.

I particularly enjoyed Kevin Purdy’s roundup of home design tools in “The Best Design Tools for Improving Your Home” and his “Top 10 Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life, 2010 Edition.” Implementing his tips on creating Gmail filters has already improved the way I process my e-mail.

I was honored to be included in the uncluttering series, and my post “Why You Hold On to Clutter” explores the science of irrationally buying (and keeping) unnecessary objects:

In “The power of touch: An examination of the effect of duration of physical contact on the valuation of objects“, researcher James Wolf reported that the longer a person touches an object, the greater the value assigned to that item. These conclusions were derived from two studies where people attended an auction and were told that they would be bidding on coffee cups. Before bidding on the items, subjects went around a room inspecting the average, nothing-special-about-them, coffee cups that were going to be put up for sale. Observers found that “examining an item for longer periods of time resulted in greater attachment to the item and thus higher valuations.” Meaning that the longer a subject touched and observed a coffee cup during the inspection period, the more likely he was to buy the cup and pay even more for it than its sticker price.

Be sure to check out “Lifehacker’s Ultimate Clutter Cleanout” for more great spring cleaning advice.

Also on the topic of spring cleaning, the May issue of Real Simple is also dedicated to the topic. It is already on newsstands, and some of the articles are online. ‘Tis the season to unclutter!

2 Comments for “Spring cleaning tips from Lifehacker”

  1. posted by Jo on

    What an interesting study!

    Just to clarify the study conditions, subjects did not “go around the room examining the mugs”; instead, they were seated in front of the mugs and instructed when to pick them up and put them back down, in certain time increments.

    Before checking the link to the study, my reaction was – yes, if they have free choice of which mugs to look at, it would make sense that they ended up placing more value on the mugs which they looked at for longer – because they were more interested in those ones in the first place. However, the actual conditions used in the study removed that factor.

    The take-home for me from this study is not to handle the merchandise if I’m just browsing – and the best way to avoid that is just not to browse in the first place!

  2. posted by Ronique Gibson on

    Regarding the Real Simple magazine article. I looked at it online a few weeks ago, and it was broken down into how much time you have for each room. I.e. – 15 minutes, 1 hour, etc.. I thought this was great, because most of us have only a certain amount of time to dedicate to cleaning. To find a guide that doesn’t have you setting aside a whole weekend to just your bathroom was very refreshing! (Excuse the pun.)

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