Thursday, November 8, 2007

Update on my Office/Art Studio Organization Project

I was aware that this project would turn into several, and was even prepared that I was going to have a big mess on my hands prior to things getting cleaner and more organized. There is so much to attack and several very large projects that just had to be broken down; and that’s what I did, OK I admit, I am still doing this "breaking it down to smaller projects" part.

I recently moved and as people do, I was rushed at the last moment. A huge office and art area had turned into literally a nightmare. It was like one of those scenes from those organizing T.V. Shows that forces people you can only assume show how and at some point in their lives simply gave up trying to tackle their pile of stuff. In some cases, you cannot even walk into the room; people just throw stuff onto other piles.

I knew I was in trouble when I had the thought I could be a good subject for calling up one of those shows. But due to the pending move, there’s was no way in hell that I was going to give these T.V. people a call, in fact, let the truth be told, I should be terribly embarrassed I was even thinking of approaching them in the first place, since it was all my fault that the place I had once called an office had gotten so out of control.

I had duplicate file folders where I once or twice or even thrice tried in attempting to organize my every-growing stack of papers. Another example is of my photo collection is truly over whelming. I have boxes upon boxes. All types of paper for the printer for various uses, and do not even ask me to locate my tax files from previous years. I have since decided to get it together with that one!

So I am now tackling what I should have tackled a year ago, since it’s been that long since I have moved. So once I moved, a lot of the junk came with me by default, only because I didn’t make the time then to bring only the reverent to this new place I call home. I was good with the art work, furniture and other house hold belongings’ making sure it was perfect in condition so to speak, in great working order and it was something that I actually use every day or nearly every month.

Yes, life get’s in the way and telling you the truth, I have actually reorganized my office art studio layout several times along with tackling the room’s contents. There is still so much stuff left over though, I have succumbed to being extra harsh on myself this time so that I can have a great productive and creative 2008. At least that’s my plan and I am sticking with it.

But, as I got to it today, I noticed it was getting easier and easier at every boxes’ turn. I would look through and simply toss that which would never be used in the future. I would put in a shoe box for a later project all my business cards and telephone numbers I had collected. I would also only allow myself a certain area of table top space to sprawl out the stuff before putting the few things I was going to keep away in their proper place. Ironically right now and I promised myself I wouldn't be like her, I remind myself of my own mother – Gasp! “Put things in their proper place and once all done, your place will be well kept and clean looking”.

I love the look of those photos in magazines like Architectural Digest and Real Simple Magazine since, that Zen feeling that you could just drop yourself in some comfy sofa with the shaggy coated dog that never sheds who obediently brings you your slippers, while your partner fixes you some hot tea and brings it to you while rubbing out the tense day you may have had from your shoulders. Keep dreaming! Well, what if I did keep dreaming?

So far, I have thrown out three large bags of stuff that no one could ever use. Collected all the old magazine issues and will send them out to the local health center that could easily need some fresh magazine material in their offices. Furthermore, I lessened my quantity of ribbons by two-thirds. Yes, I really got rid of the ribbon. I hated to throw that out, but I had to just be ruthless.

I also went through my entire pile of art pens and reorganized my pen caddy. Putting the funky scissors for scrapbook in one spot along with the jewelry making tools, I started seeing the benefits of all this organizing. So much so, in fact I was able to tackle the upstairs junk drawer. I put the little items with like items in small ziplock bags, brought down more tools that were put together with other tools.

One rule I have found golden is that once something is in your hand, put it back, create a place for it with other like items, and don’t diddle daddle or get sidetracked (which I can easily do) - just put the item, piece of paper where it is supposed to be. I accomplished more today in only four leisurely paced hours than I did in six months of anxiously thinking about this project. I am more energized to attack even more tomorrow.

By tackling even the smallest of projects, you will be able to tackle the larger ones. And in fact, by placing the like items with similar items, such as creating a gathering place for all those business cards for networking purposes, they are no longer cluttering every surface space. And I can now set aside an afternoon to just tackle the business cards, whereas before I wouldn’t even know where to start looking for a contacts calling card.

So now I am off to my Open Mic gig at Susan's Restaurant, I am relaxed and now inside I will come home and already my place feels lighter and slightly enlightened in spirit. Now let’s hope a good crowd comes for tonight’s gig and I will have had one successful day!

Peace, over and out.

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