Sunday, November 4, 2007

Daily Rant - Organization

Today's Daily Rant -
Organization & Why is it so hard to stay organized? A Simple How To Get Started...

I just don't get it. Why does it take such effort to stay organized. We all enjoy it when our kitchens are clean, the bed is made, when we have clean clothes in our drawers and lastly, when our offices or our work areas are organized.

The obvious benefits are a more calmer state of mind for which one can truly be highly productive - at least that's the goal. The mind can make waves after completing such organizational tasks...and when you really get down to it, it only takes us a few minutes to tackle our messes. And why do we have so much stuff to begin with? Is it our need to keep things we really don't ever use around us to keep us safe? What drives this factor in us humans, I really don't know. All I do know is that I keep procrastinating in tackling some of the easiest of tasks. Am I afraid of success? Scared of nothing to do once I am finished - or am I destined to always have a long "things to do" list that's never completed?

I do know from experience, that once I do start getting organized, the sense of accomplishment is amazing. Yet so simple. I am in fact, proud with glee with the simplest of accomplishments. I am ready to tackle just about anything else which requires far more concentration. But alas, I stay frozen in my predicament. So I write today to admit to my faults and to quite frankly, get my rump into gear. There truly is much I need to do around this place I call home. And if and when I get organized, it is easier to live life as it is meant to be.

Mind you, I have friends who truly would need at least a month of constant cleaning and getting rid of junk and even have heard stories of worse calamities of how people live. I don't leave garbage or food or clothes on the floor. I can usually find something I am looking for within a few minutes. But in this era of time, even minutes looking for something is truly a waste of precious time.

I will share this though, and this is truly a reason to attack one area of your apartment or house today or sometime this week that needs going through: the energy in your home will be lifted. If you are feeling as of late, sick, run down, tired and abnormally blah - get to that office home desk...and start organizing. You will truly be astonished you kept so much stuff in one area or room to begin with and wonder why it took you so long to actually attack this precious and at times, daunting task. The obvious benefits are a calmer sense of serenity if your home or office that will allow you to live like you wish to and not long to live like. It might even get you going and inspire you to attack larger projects, say like that closet you are afraid of opening the door to or the garage. But let us first start small.

Are you a paper clutterer? What about someone who keeps umpteen amounts of plastic bags - now for me, I have an excuse - those plastic bags kept in one bag hanging on my baker's rack is handy for those picking up doggy piles the law tells me to. But do limit your excuses.

Today I will personally be attacking my boxes of art supplies and the like. I have one box - which was already downsized from several which contain only ribbon. I am not currently in the gift basket business - and why in the world do I need soooo much ribbon? I know how I collected it, since stores were going out of business and I could never afford so much ribbon at those bottom-low prices. But I would never know that I would end up with not one but three boxes full of ribbon. Well, I have been thinking of ways give these supplies to some school for use. Heaven knows our schools are in dire need of art supplies and the like.

So as I attack the box of ribbons, I suggest to you make three piles when you start to organize. 1) The Keep Pile - this is stuff that you actually use right now or will in this next year. This also includes papers necessary for tax reasons 2) The Donate Pile. These are items that can easily be used by others - they are in great condition, and a school or other business. - Hey there could be even a tax break for such giving. 3) The Toss Pile. And though this seems obvious, there is so much we have in our homes that could find a new place. Say like the garbage can?!? If you haven't used an item for say two years - ask yourself, what is the cost of buying it new if you need it again, can you borrow one or rent one in exchange of getting rid of this one item? And look at how much valuable space its taking up in your area and home! When you know the answer to these questions, you will be able to decide to toss the item like wet icky smelly garbage.

Yes, its very hard at times to get rid of things we have been attached to. And what about items large like furniture that has outlived its life - or even worse, an item that reminds you of a negative person in your life or has a negative attachment to it? Why in the world would you want to keep that in your special place that should be zen-like and bring you peace? You will be utterly amazed when that one item is removed from your place - you will actually feel a lift of spirits in your home. I've held on to things that belonged to one person or another and when I gave them away, not only did I not have to look at that item that was so not me, I wasn't feeling that negative vibe every time I went by that object. Try it with one thing - and tell me how I saved your life!

This always reminds me of George Carlin's comedian bit about stuff and our fascination of our belongings. "Its my stuff, but its your shit". And why (I paraphrase), he asks, "do we get more stuff (or shit if it's theirs) so that we have to move to a bigger place?" I respond with several suggestions to get out of this rut.

Watch some of those programs of T.V. that help people get organized. Get motivated. And maybe just start small. One recent magazine article I read was truly empowering. Throw out 20 things around your house. This does not include 20 issues of National Geographic Magazines. Yes, a shame to throw out, but a school could use these for a collage project, for example. And it would only count as one item - yes, I know it's more than one - but it's one item for the sake of this exercise. Now, go to your junk drawer - how many wine corks do you actually need and how many wine bottles do you normally have half open to have five wine corks for safe keeping - this would could count as another one item of twenty to be thrown out. And what about those pile of broken baskets or clothes that are stained and you will never wear again. There are so many places one could start this simple task. But the effects are amazing once they are out of your home.

I have attempted this simple exercise and do try to do it once a month. I also have learned from experience, that the more often you do these tasks, the easier it is to decide what to throw out and what not to keep around making dust and fire hazards in our homes. So I just finished taking photographs for the before....of my art studio and office. This is to embarrass myself into actually getting today's chore finished. I know I will be happy and enlightened once that area is organized.

This is so I can be proud by the end of this day when I have hopefully finished this task. This task has daunted me with enough anxiety for weeks now, which I know has delayed my many more important projects that need to assist me in bringing home the bacon. So I end this rant with one thing: get started! Even if its only a little at a time. You'll be proud that you did - and think what you can accomplish afterwards? You won' even know how good you will feel until it's completed - really...get going!

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