June 2009 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: How an organizer gets (more) organized

I’ve just spent some time re-organizing my home office — making the types of small adjustments that almost everyone needs to make from time to time. As we live in a space, we get a better idea of what works well, and what doesn’t. Also, almost all of us accumulate some clutter over time, and pausing to re-evaluate a space helps us see what might get cleared out.

Here are some of the things I did:

1. I got rid of things that no longer served me.
For example, I gave away my 3-hole punch. It’s a very good 3-hole punch — but I just don’t need to punch papers to put in 3-ring binders any more, and I can’t remember the last time I used it. I also gave away 27 sheet protectors that you use in those binders.

2. I moved things around, so the things I use the most are close at hand.
One example: Because I edit a magazine which follows Associated Press style, I use the AP-approved dictionary all the time. It was close to me — but not quite close enough, which means it often sat on the floor instead of in the bookcase. Now it’s within hand’s reach as I sit at my desk.

3. I took some things off my desktop and put them away in drawers.
My stapler and tape dispenser are still within hand’s reach — but I don’t use them enough to need them sitting out. Now my desktop is less cluttered — and it’s easier for one of my cats to curl up there and keep me company.

4. I cleaned up my computer, too.
My computer desktop had become cluttered; I moved all the extraneous files to where they belong.

5. I took care of nagging undone chores.
I had an inspirational card sitting out because the frame it had been in had broken, months ago. I finally ordered a replacement frame. That took all of 15 minutes or so; why had I procrastinated for so long? And I finally called the carpet cleaners in; now I’m not looking at kitty vomit stains every day!

Making these small adjustments made a huge difference in how pleasant it is to sit down to work. What little changes might you make to how you are organized?

Organizing Product of the Month

Gathering up used batteries for recycling? You could keep them in this battery box designed by Monkey Business.

Organizing Quote of the Month

To some extent, I think de-cluttering involves recognizing that regret is part of life, and being OK with that. Yes, I’ve given away books that I now often wish I still owned. But I’ve also screwed up relationships, made iffy career choices, etc. — you suck it up and move on. If you try to cling to *every* *single* *thing* (material, spiritual, or emotional) that you might need one day in the totally hypothetical future, you’re going to end up bogged down in a lot of stuff.

— found on MetaFilter