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Thoughts about organizing

November 19, 2011

My desk really drives me nuts.  I feel surrounded by things that I can’t really put anywhere else because there is just no place to put them.  Lately I have been on a drive to purge things, but it occurred to me this morning as I was looking around wondering what other bits of furniture I could make or buy to organize to help fit more stuff on my desk that the fundamental problem, really, is the more stuff.  Half of the things on my desk are not actually things that I use frequently, they are just things that somehow fit into the “desk” category and so they always get put here.  But many of them could be stored somewhere else and only accessed when needed, and then I would have more places to put the things that are always piled up and crammed here and there because they don’t have a proper home.  All the books, for example — they have been sitting here waiting for me to read them for months.  Why don’t I put them on the shelf and just get them out when I want them?  Ah, yes, because the shelf is full of things that I really never look at, like CDs.  You know, self, most of those have been ripped to your hard disk.  Why not rip the remaining ones and put them all in a box and store them out of the way?  And perhaps even put the ones that aren’t in special packaging of some kind into a wallet?  Then  you would have two whole empty shelves to put books on.  And an empty desktop.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

And how about the stuff on the floor?  Why don’t you put the file sorter on the wall, like you originally planned, and put some kind of decorative folders in it for your stuff?  There are hundreds of tutorials for making your own folders out there.

Do you really need to have more little shelves so that you can pile more books around you?  I think this behavior of yours probably encourages the lazy, fed-up-ness that causes you to pile things all around you instead of putting them away.  That and not having easy places to put things away in the first place.  You know that is key to organizing — everything should have a designated place and should be accessible when it comes time to put it away.

Just by looking around the room I can see several places where this principle could be applied.  Recycling bins of some kind, which are easily transported downstairs, would be a big help.  Perhaps even a few baskets designated for the purpose of carrying things into the room where they belong.  The box files could be covered with new paper and labelled appropriately.  I could find a purpose for the triangular shelf besides just sitting there looking like it should be important.  DH’s papers could be filed into an organized box.  The mystery boxes under his desk should be cleaned out, too.  My own tidbits of information and so on should either be tossed or collected in a single binder.  Random decorative items could be organized into some kind of coherent display.  Posters and maps should be framed so that they look like art rather than stuck to the wall with blu-tack.  The magnetic memo strips should be moved someplace where they can actually be useful, rather than just being a home for random magnets.  I could move the drawers out from under the desk and put them along the wall.  I could move the filing cabinet next to my desk and get a dresser for DH.  There are lots of things I could do to make this space less cluttered and more functional.  And I really think it is time to do it, because my brains feel cluttered at this point.

Above all, it’s time to purge, purge, purge.

From → Organizing

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