Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Operation: Clear the Counter

If you read my blog on Monday, you'll know that I've set a goal for the month of April. Dubbed, "Operation: Clear the Counter," this mission is an attempt to eradicate the clutter from a five square foot portion of my office counter by removing, recycling and otherwise relocating the miscellaneous piles and files that have eaten up nearly eleven square feet of work space (a 79" x 20" counter).

Why am I telling you this? I have a couple of reasons. First of all, I hope to embarrass myself into action. Second, as someone who has spoken on the topic of organization and is at work on a book about organizing differently, I'm hoping to make a few discoveries along the way.

Here are the guidelines I've set:

1. The goal is to remove items from the counter, not simply move them from pile to pile. Therefore, any item that is removed from the target area and not given a home must be returned to the target area. These items can be combined into one stack, provided the stack can stand on its own without toppling over.

2. New organizers and organizational tools are permitted, but if they come to live on the counter, their footprint does not count as clear space. 

3. Time spent on this task will be marked on the calendar so that I can see my progress in terms of both time spent and space gained.

While I have no intention of allowing this project to co-opt my blog completely, I will be posting updates (part of my motivational strategy), along with observations and interesting items that I unearth (if any). At the end of April, I plan to reward myself for my success. I've ruled out chocolate since  evidence of the Easter Bunny's visit abounds throughout my house, rendering more chocolate completely unnecessary. At the moment, I'm coveting a new Pandora bead, but this is subject to change and budgetary restrictions.

On the first day of my venture, I spent a little more than half an hour working on the counter. I uncovered two projects that needed to be completed, along with a $20 Starbucks gift card. Within the hour, I had completed one of the projects, loaded the gift card onto my account and cleared some space.  Definitely a half hour well spent.

Care to join me? Is there a goal you want to achieve? A space you want to reclaim?  

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