How do GTD practices and principles apply when you are processing a large group of (mainly) non-paper items, and you don't know how homogenous the stuff will be until you start? This is a project like clearing off a counter or cleaning out a closet that leads to more projects, etc.
Do you put things into a neat pile before you start?
Do you remove anything that is trash first or just do that as you process?
Do hunt through everything and pre-sort into piles according to some rubric like to whom it might belong or what room it is supposed to be taken to or some other action you need to take? How do you keep track of what the actions are? Or do you sort as you encounter each item, just one item at a time?
Do you write down your projects or actions as they occur to you?
When do you enter these into your system?
Most of the things that have accumulated were placed there because of any of the following:
Need a more accessible "home"
Someone wnats me to take an action.
I want someone to take an action.
they were put there as a reminder of an action I plan to take (glue back together, sew buttion, buy a similar one, get a refill, etc)
I don't know what they are or to whom they belong.
They need to go into a different container for storage and then a place found.
They need to be reduced in quantity, or checked (batteries), condensed or combined.
I need to get someone to help me with it.
If it is paper, it is usually somethng I want to refer such as directions or guidelines at a particular time or in general.
I need to make a decision, such as where it goes?
I would like very much to know how people who are a little more logical, practical, or facile with GTD, might approach these accumulations.