Monday, December 30, 2013

Organizing Therapy

Yesterday was a wet, chilly, rainy Sunday. A perfect day for curling up under a blanket and reading a good book. So, what did I do?

I cleaned my office.

To be more specific, I cleaned the counter in my office, a task that was long overdue. I'd been chipping away at it for some time, and I'd made progress, but it never lasted. This morning, it looks sparkly and organized and ready to start the new year.

Now it's my desk that's a disaster.

Why is it that when we perform a major organizational offensive, things always look worse before they look better? Despite the fact that I spent hours throwing away and putting away, recycling and reorganizing, many objects (mostly of the paper variety) remained. For now, they've migrated to other places. Lots of homeless items are temporarily stashed in a seasonal tote until I can chip away at them, determining what's trash and what's treasure, and a large pile of things to read has found its way onto my desk. Some papers, books and reading material have been contained in appropriate bins and boxes....but now those bins and boxes need to go somewhere.
Thank goodness for open containers that allow me to stash stuff and still see it.
Part of the problem is that I'm engaged in multiple pursuits (writing, teaching, direct sales) that are paper intensive. Papers I've already used don't automatically become trash -- they become "resources" which need to be filed. Since my office is a converted porch, creative storage is only part of the solution.

In reality, I'm left with two choices: become more ruthless or get a bigger office. In the meantime, I try to keep the most important "resources" accessible and relocate less essential items to other places in our (also small) house. Unfortunately, given my personal and organizational styles, putting things I need out of sight in closed containers only serves to hamper my efficiency. It might make things look pretty, but it also activates an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality that leads to lots of wasted time trying to find things I "put away."

So today, I will tackle my desk, and when that is done, I'll conduct a "what's working/what's not" assessment of my office and decide where I need to make changes. My goal? To begin the new year knowing where everything important least for a little while.

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