David -- Now that you've written Getting Things Done (GTD) which dealt with actions, I was wishing you had also written a book called Putting Things Away (PTA) dealing with objects. In other words, GTD helped me to clean up my inbox; now I needed a book to help me clean up my room! Not willing to wait, I have discovered that the GTD concepts can apply to objects, not just actions. You just need to swap the time-based notions with space-based notions:
In GTD, Actions are grouped in two ways: in Projects, and in Checklists. A Project is a set of semantically related Actions. A Checklist is a set of spatially related Actions.
So by analogy, in PTA, Objects would also be grouped in two ways: in Toolkits, and in Bags. A Toolkit is a set of semantically related Objects. A Bag is a set of temporally related Objects. So for example, a Toolkit might consist of your printer, extra paper, and ink cartridges. A Bag might consist of empty ink cartridges, $20, and your driver's license.
PTA works as follows:
1. Collect all the stuff into a big pile.
2. Process each object from left to right:
What is it? Does it get used? If No: trash it or put it in your Someday/Maybe box.
2.1 Drop it. Object heavier than 10 kg? Put it down now!
2.2 Give it. Is your area really the best place for this? No? Give it to someone; meanwhile, stick it in your Waiting For box.
2.3 Store it. To be put in a specific place (a Toolkit), or simply as convenient a place as possible (a Bag).
This is kind of neat -- from GTD we derive that the ideal room is structured according to Toolkits and Bags. Note that this does not necessarily mean metal toolkits and plastic bags -- the actual implementation varies with the person. It's the concepts that count.
I'm sure the analogy can be carried further -- it's quite a mental exercise to translate GTD concepts into the corresponding PTA concepts. David, please write this book!!