30 December 2011

Organizational Frenzy

I'm in one. I have never been the most organized person. Left to my own devices my areas; desk, room, house, etc; would look like a cyclone came through. You've seen those comedies where someone comes into a home and says to the resident "OMG you've been robbed" because it looks like someone ransacked the place? Okay, that would be me if I didn't keep a tight rein on things. And I have kept it fairly under control. The problem is that I do let some things pile up, like the mail, until I need something. Then I spend 20 minutes searching for it and swear to get things organized. I will then make a good effort, usually spending a day or so getting things set up, only to not follow through and let it happen again. This year I am determined to change things. It's not so hard to keep things organized, I just need to find a system that works for me.

Yesterday I went to Office Max and got some new hanging folders and file folders all color coordinated. My initial idea was that every section of my life would be color coded. Finances, medical, house, etc. What I quickly discovered is that so many of those areas overlap. I had a section for insurance, a section for the house, and a section for the cars. Well, guess what? The house and the cars all have insurance! Do I file the car insurance with the insurance stuff or with the car stuff? So you can see my problem. I decided to scrap the color coded sections and just use the colors to make it look pretty. That worked better. I got one file draw all cleaned out and organized into the new files. Now I have to go through my file cabinet. That has stuff that goes back 25 years. What I want to do is make the new files for the current stuff and then have an archive where I can file things I need to keep forever, like taxes, but they won't be taking up space in the current stuff.

I also have to come up with a way to handle the mail. My current system is that I get it from the mailbox and throw it on the first flat surface I come to, where it stays until I need to find something. Yeah, not a great system. I am working on throwing away the junk before it even comes in the house. When I get the mail, I go through it in the driveway right near the trashcan. That way if there is junk I just dump it in the trash and not even bring it into the house. That is working, I just have to keep it up. But for the mail I need to deal with I need a good system. I need to get it onto my desk, which is in a bedroom so not near the door, and I need to deal with it and not let it pile up on my desk - which I have been known to do.

I just came up with an idea. I had wanted to get a small hanging file holder to put on top of my desk. That way, instead of just throwing things onto my desk, I could put them in folders like, mail, file, taxes, etc. That way, while I may not go through it right away, it would be organized if I needed to find something. Also, then when I had time I could deal with things and they would be all sorted out already - something else that claims an inordinate amount of my time. But I'm thinking of just getting a stand up accordion folder for my desk. On second thought, I don't like that. Too easy to fall over and just get in the way. I need something that will be staring me in the face constantly and will not be ignored.

Clearly I still need to work this all out. But that's where my head is right now. I'm determined to make this year the year I get organized and stay organized. Wish me luck.

No comments:

Doing hard things

 Lots of people stress the importance of doing hard things. They say it builds character and helps you build confidence in yourself. And it ...