Separate reference from stuff

There are two, distinct categories of objects in life: reference and stuff.

Reference objects are things you refer to as part of your daily life, which wholly meet these seven criteria: they are organized, necessary, clean, minimal, and feng shui; the purpose is precisely known; they cannot be completed, or enumerated on a to-do list to be completed in the future. Examples of reference objects include: incorporation papers and receipts for taxes, organized in a filing cabinet; your desk, chair, monitor, keyboard, and mouse; working pens, pencils, and legal pads; aspirin; clothing you wear; your bed, your bedside table, alarm clock, and lamp; a wine bottle opener, candles, and matches.

Stuff is everything else. Examples include: a sweater that doesn’t fit; coffee mugs which you no longer use; notes from a conference call; a gift card; a book you haven’t read; a necklace with a broken clasp.

The separation of reference from stuff is necessary so that stuff may be processed: organized, attended to, or eliminated. A man is organized when he only possesses reference objects, and has gotten rid of all stuff by processing it.