slice-of-cakeI am often asked what furniture, closets, or shelves to buy and when I answer by saying  “an answer to the question of systems must be preceded by an answer to the question of quantity,” I am given a look that says “Why are you making me eat my brussel sprouts before I eat my cake?”  So be it. Let’s talk cake!

If you compare clearing a cluttered room to baking a cake, then asking about furniture and shelves is like asking about the flavor of the frosting before you know the flavor of the cake.  A cluttered room is a loose mess of ingredients.  You can’t start by applying frosting to that mess.  You need the structure of the cake.

First you need to sort out the ingredients.  Maybe you have more flour than you need for this cake.  Maybe some of that flour has clumped up and needs tossing.  Maybe you discover you don’t have as much sugar as you thought you did.  Maybe you were planning on a chocolate frosting, but you discover these wonderful fresh strawberries you had forgotten about.

Once you have tossed or relocated the ingredients that aren’t right for your cake, then you are ready to mix the batter as needed and bake.

Now that you have finished your cake, you can make the right choice about the frosting, which is probably not the same choice you made before you baked the cake.  In fact, you may discover it’s best not to add any frosting at all!

TODAY’S KEY TO UNLOCKING CLUTTER:  Address quantity before systems, like cake before frosting.