Thursday, November 15, 2007

Systems for everything

I'm a pretty organized person. How did things get cluttered?

The short answer is that while I have places for most everything, and do tend to put them there, there are areas where I fall down. Here's what's wrong, and what I'm going to do about it:

1) I don't always put things in their places, so there are 'hot spots' of ever changing junk, like the magazines on the bookshelves in the kitchen (which need to be quickly culled and trashed). I was talking to a friend yesterday, who said that she was reading on (informative site for decluttering, BTW), that we all have 'hot spots' for clutter, you know, the place by the front door where you put the junk you brought into he house, or the junk drawer, and the secret is to clear them up daily.

2) I can have multiple places for similar items. For example, till recently I had stashes of coins in 2 places (places set up at 2 different times for 2 different purposes). They are now integrated, freeing up space in an organizer for other small desk items. I can see the pile of coins growing, and as they're now part of my savings, they make me happy.

My craft supplies are still in 3 places, because I don't have one that can hold them all (beading is all in one place, paper crafting is in a different place, machine knitting is about 3 places -- it's bulky). That may change. As my husband has finally accepted that his college age daughter has moved out permanently, he is going to use her old room for his office, and I'll get his desk armoire in the living room (plus the dining room table will be a dining room table and not part of his office). At least all the beading stuff and machine knitting stuff can go into the armoire, so I can start a project and leave it there, close up the armoire, and it will still be there next time I sit down... maybe that's a bad idea... hmm.. I'm actually really excited about this.

Maybe I'll move the paper crafting stuff there, maybe not... I use it at my desk, and it's kind of handy to have my computer and printer where that stuff is, so....

2) I don't clean out what's there. You have to keep tax records for 7 years (and anything to do with property you own for pretty much as long as you own the property and 7 years after that!), and CA real estate brokers have to keep records of their transactions for 3 years after the close of the sale. So everything is filed away neatly. But nothing says, okay, it's been 3 years, or 7, and it's time to go dump those files.

So the answer is more systems. I have a filing system, now I need a de-filing system (okay, bad homonym, but I can't think of a better way to say this), that is, a regular clean out practice. (Need to regularly clean my energy field, too!) I think I need to make this an annual ritual, so that each year, in winter, when it's not great weather to work in the garden, I get to work in the house. Last year, I got rid of 3 car loads of stuff, on the same impulse. I think I'll make the start date the day we turn the clocks back from Daylight savings to regular time.

3) Other family members have their own junk, and they either need to get rid of it, or I need to make the executive decision to do it for them. I've been putting my husband's stuff that looks like junk onto the dining room table for him to deal with. Yes, I do have to look at it, but I don't have to look at it there and in the bedroom both. I'm just giving away items that look waaay to young for the teenagers ("James and the Giant Peach", for example). And making lists of things my stepson doesn't seem to use, to ask him if I can just give them away.

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