Monday, October 31, 2011

The best of intentions...

My piling system -- how did it work for all of you?

It worked imperfectly for me. Part of the issue is having enough dedicated time to work on something until it is finished. Is that how it is for you? So, I had a good start, but then a little something called "life" took over. I guess that's why getting and staying organized is so challenging for me -- for us.

It is also why I'm recommending today that we take things in very small bites. Unless it is the weekend, I don't have that dedicated time required. Even on certain weekends, though, it is still hard to find time.

Now, back to the paper chaos. I was cleaning off my desk. What were you working on? Did you finish? Are you feeling proud? Or, are you, like me, wondering how there are still things stacked there on the corner where there was momentarily a clear space?

I'm attacking it again.
  • Put all pencils in pencil holder. Done. 
  • Throw away all tiny pieces of paper and scraps and stickies that I don't need any more. Done.
  • Put folders back into folder holder.  Done.
Oh look! There's the binder that is supposed to hold my weekly items -- my "household" binder. Since I'm at my work office, I need to come up with something better than "household." I'll go with "office organizer." Bottom line.... this is going to take daily effort. I'm taking a wild guess here, but I'm imagining that the naturally organized do not find themselves un-piling just mere days after clearing off a space.

But, the good news is that it didn't take nearly as long as the first time.  That's real progress for the not-so-naturally organized.

Tomorrow's blog -- One Thing at a Time!

And, here's a link to a site that is working on having an organized Christmas.  It looks ever-so-lovely to me.  I hope you enjoy!  An Organized Christmas

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Paper Chaos Challenge Continues!

If you're like me, the not-so-naturally organized, one day of facing the paper chaos did not do the trick.  Here's what I accomplished...

1) I did get things sorted into my suggested piles.
2) I did get my daily tasks all together into one folder.  But... no, I didn't get them all done!
3) I did get my weekly folders stuffed into my vertical file.  Upon doing so, I noticed that there are some other things in there that need clearing out.
4) Now I have a pile of things on my floor that need to have a little attention!

It does feel good to be working in a focused way on facing the paper chaos, even if it takes me longer than I feel it should.  Progress, not perfection.  I've heard that said many times, and it is a quote that I am learning to embrace.

Therefore, I am extending my Paper Chaos challenge for at least one more day.  In my case, it may take even more days.  After all, there are many other things to do in a day!

Happy sorting!  Keep me updated on how you're doing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Challenge of the Day -- Paper Chaos

One of my biggest challenges is dealing with paper clutter.  I stack.  I pile.  I sort.  I re-pile.  I file.  I lose.  I dig.

Well, you are getting the drift!  This morning I am sitting in my office wondering what it would be like to have a clear desk.  Now, I don't think that a clear desk is necessarily a sign of conquered chaos, but I do think that having a mess and not hardly being able to work is a clear sign of CHAOS!

Today's challenge has to do with the Paper Chaos.  Pick one area in your space (office, den, kitchen) where there is paper clutter.  Take a good hard look at it.  Now, how are we going to manage it?

Here's what we are going to try to do:

1. Pick up the paper.  Decide:
  • Do I need to deal with it today.  If yes, start a new pile! Yes, I actually mean this.  This is how the mind of not-so-naturally organized works.
  • Do I need access to it every day?  If yes, start a another pile.
  • If you don't need access to it every day, decided whether you need it weekly, or longer than that.
2. Do step one for all the papers in the area you are conquering today!  You will now have four "neat" piles.  OK, in my case, it might be 4 messy piles, but that doesn't matter.
  • Do today
  • Use every day (reference papers, like phone directories, calendars, shopping lists, etc.)
  • Use weekly
  • Use less frequently than weekly

3. Grab a file folder and write "Do Today" on it.  Put all the papers in the 1st pile in it.  If you don't have a file folder handy, and let's face it, if we are dealing with chaos, we might not have all the supplies we need, then paperclip or rubber band them together.  The DO TODAY folder is your new friend.  Don't put anything in there unless you really mean to deal with it today, OK?  By the time your day is over, it should be empty.

4. Now, dealing with these other three piles.  Here's what I'm hoping to do.  I have a basket on my desk that holds files in a vertical position.  Mine happens to be a Longaberger basket that I've had for many years.  The plan is to put my DO TODAY folder in the front of that basket and then create folders for those things I need weekly and put behind it.  Examples for me:
  • Faculty meeting folder
  • Music staff paper
  • Invoices to pay
  • Papers to grade
  • Papers to return
The challenge for me will be resisting the urge to stick other things in there!

5. Now, for those things that we use every day, I believe setting up some kind of command central would be helpful.  I found a clever organizer who has excellent instructions on setting up a command central notebook. Household Binder

I believe you should have one for home and one for your workplace.  I am planning to set one up for my workplace -- at least I'll start today!

6. Long term storage (filing!) is going to need to be the subject for a future blog.  Filing is an animal of its own kind -- at least for us who are not-so-natural organizers.

Pictures will come in the future.  Since I am not-so-naturally organized, I do not have my camera with me today.  (Hmm... note to self, where should I put reminders and notes to myself?)

Let me know how this works for you, and I'll do the same.

Ready, set, CHALLENGE!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Pangs of Chaos

I've been browsing today. There are many websites and blogs devoted to Organization. It made me wonder, why one more?

First, there are no two identical situations. We all have different personalities, styles, natural tendencies and passions. We also each face different issues -- family, school, home, church. We are all very special! My journey is unique, but maybe it will help one person along the way.

Secondly, many of the lovely sites I've visited require an extensive investment in cute storage devices, complicated carpentry, expensive additions to furniture. Quite frankly, that's not feasible for us at the moment. Perhaps I can use those ideas, but we don't have money to spend on the process of getting organized. (Just between you and me, being unorganized with finances is a pretty good reason for that problem...)

Finally, I just like to write. So, there you have it!

I am planning to continue to enjoy other posts and websites. I plan to direct people to the experts. I am no expert. I'm just a person trying to figure out how to maintain order.

Will you come along with me?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creatively Conquering Chaos is born

I am not a naturally organized person. My battle with chaos is one of the constants in my life. A few friends have invited me to share my challenges with others. Since this is an ever-present thing in my life, I'll now invite you to come along with me on my wandering journey... conquering one chaotic thing after another!

The chances of me ever attaining total control are slim. But, I must confess, I do rather enjoy the fight!