Simple tips on getting organized

Photo: “Chaos” by Charles Starrett licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Link to Flickr

Photo: “Chaos” by Charles Starrett licensed under CC BY 2.0

Yesterday I felt so smug. I finally took time to declutter my space and it felt so good to just get started.

You’d think that since my mom was a housekeeper and my dad a janitor, cleaning and organization would be close to the top of my to do list. I think my teen rebelliousness is still operating on some level in my brain.

I’ve probably read every best seller about organizing. So far, I haven’t found one that’s changed my habits. Perhaps you know a good one that turned you from a mess to a neatnik. I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

After travelling recently, my place had taken on a life of its own. There were papers everywhere – stacks I’d created before I went away. I promised myself that when I came back I’d tackle those stacks!

So for a couple of days, I circled around the piles looking at the towers I’d created – which were somewhat loosely organized: creative with scripts and treatments; various financial piles; and, of course, my receipts from all the travelling.

Yesterday it was time. Enough of the procrastination even though the Sunday papers beckoned. Without glancing at a single headline, and after mainlining some very strong coffee, I was ready to begin.

Just start

Sometimes you just can’t wait until the cleaning/organizing spirit moves you. I reach a point where I just have to go through things. I have to start first thing in the morning – usually a weekend – but sometimes not being able to find things becomes too frustrating to ignore.

Purge

This part is the most fun. Just the act of sitting down to do it gives me a strange sense of satisfaction. I’m dealing with it. I’m not ignoring it. I usually like to set a time frame and have a little competition with myself to deter from distractions. I’m easily distracted going through papers. I might have been a hamster in another life.

Recycle

I usually find there are three piles: one for the recycling bin; one that needs action; and one to file. Of course this assumes you have a filing system that makes sense!

Reward yourself

Rewards are a big thing for me. I need a sense of accomplishment. If I’ve filed away all the papers and now have a fresh pile of things to do, I can read or sit and just relish the peace I’ve had in doing this. It may not be perfection, but it is done!

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