June 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm #89764
AnonymousInactiveJune 29, 2011 at 4:11 pmPost count: 14413
I’m learning more about how my brain works, and I appreciate being among my people finally.
One thing I’ve always struggled with is over-cluttering my desk. I could never figure out where things should go–what goes on the desk, what goes in in the first drawer, what goes across the room.
One idea I’ve come up with is this:
- Count the number of locations you need to stock (desktop, drawer1, drawer2, etc.)
- get that number of bins (shoe boxes, coffee cans, etc.) plus one big one. Each bin should be about 1/2 to 3/4 the size of the drawer/location to populate.
- put the bins in a line on the floor, moving away from your chair with the desktop nearest, drawer1 (closest drawer) behind, etc. Put the large bin at the end.
- put all the candidate items, (stapler, tape, calculator, etc.) in the large, far basket.
- for the next week, each time you use something, move it to the next closest bin.
By the end of the week/two weeks, you will have self-sorted which items you use most frequently. Put them in the right drawers and BSTL.*
(Use 1/2 to 3/4 full, because you need room in the drawer to move, otherwise it’s packed like sardines).
I’m going to try this and plan to report back nex—oooh! squirrel!
*”Bam, said the lady.” I’m a big Firefly fan.REPORT ABUSEJune 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm #105301
quizzicalParticipantJune 29, 2011 at 8:21 pmPost count: 251
That sounds TOTALLY cool – I’m going to try it at home. Just having things in four boxes would be a big improvement over the mess that’s all over my bathroom vanity!REPORT ABUSEJune 30, 2011 at 2:02 am #105302
AnonymousInactiveJune 30, 2011 at 2:02 amPost count: 14413
probably a much improved option than throwing things on the floor or piling important papers on top of printers. that idea is also an investment because all you have to maintain is to put things in the right place.REPORT ABUSEJune 30, 2011 at 3:02 am #105303
nellieMemberJune 30, 2011 at 3:02 amPost count: 596
Hmmm, I’m kind of hemming and hawing over this one . It sounds good in theory but I can see myself with boxes all over the floor for the next year
I already started something similar with stuff to file. My office was pristine after an overhaul except for a few leftover specially marked boxes of paperwork – neatly piled on my spare desk across the room. Still there a year later next to all the new piles I’ve added since!
My actual work desk – can’t even see the surface at the moment!
I know you are talking about finding a home for all the stuff you use regularly, but it might be more efficient to make the decision sooner rather than later. I know I’m lethal with containers – if there’s one nearby I will fill it! Don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer but this system is ripe with the potential for procrastination.
Have you guys watched the lists video?
That’s basically my desk!REPORT ABUSEJune 30, 2011 at 3:10 am #105304
AnonymousInactiveJune 30, 2011 at 3:10 amPost count: 14413
pete-puma- i laughed so hard reading that (THANKS!!)- ’cause i can TOTALLY relate!!! this may just be the answer to my (messy desk!!) (like what DO you put in the first drawer? and if it’s in the first drawer and you can’t see it, how do you know where you put it??!) LOVE IT!!! i’ll be waiting for your report!! (and may not be able to wait- may just throw those coffee cans next to my desk!!) LOVE IT!!REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm #105305
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 1:51 pmPost count: 14413
Worth a try, but I agree with others, I might just end up with four tote boxes on the floor that get filled up and never moved. I am thinking more of all the things we have but don’t use (and that are visible to us because if we put them away we never look at them again).
And the one large tote I already have in the living room in front of me (beside the overfilled ottoman) is full of books I fully intend to read (before I die, hopefully), and that I’ve tripped over numerous times and almost crashed headfirst into the TV or sprained my wrist avoiding the hit. Hmmm – better not go there!
For me, I think I just need to pitch out/give away anything that I haven’t used in 2 years and worry about putting away the stuff I do use. I do get tired of looking at the accumulated dust, thinking it would be way quicker to dust our space if we didn’t have so many useless possessions.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm #105306
nellieMemberJuly 1, 2011 at 2:40 pmPost count: 596
no-dopamine I think we could co-write the “How not to organize your life guide”
I should buy stock in rubbermaid!
Not sure if this helps anyone else, but sometimes when I notice that i’m constantly moving around some item that is clearly out of place, I ask myself does this have a home? Most often the answer if no so I try to figure out what would be a logical place to keep it. If it has a home, I put it there and then wonder why the heck I didn’t do that in the first place 6 months ago when it landed on my kitchen counter or wherever!REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm #105307
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 2:53 pmPost count: 14413
LOL, you are right, nellie! I know what I SHOULD do, but I just can’t seem to do it. It doesn’t help that half the mess isn’t mine or that things that have a home never get put back there (my ADD husband is always finding “new” homes for things).
I am usually pretty good at getting receipts to my desk (currently the dining room table), less good at entering them into the computer (for business), far less good at filing them (I have an exploding file folder that gets emptied into the filing cabinet after I’ve spilled it on the floor at least 10 times and sworn the air blue in the process).
I spent half an hour this morning looking for a receipt for a purchase I made two days ago for my business. It was important, so I couldn’t believe I had lost it.
I checked my wallet first, then my portfolio bag, my messy desktop pile of papers, my pants and jacket pockets, etc. Just about gave up but decided to check my wallet one last time – it was there, neatly folded up, but in between a collection of coupons I’d stashed there (movies, ice cream, burgers, pitas, etc – I have lots of freebies). I’m tired of using my wallet as a filing cabinet, but if I don’t put coupons there, they never get used!REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm #105308
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 3:12 pmPost count: 14413
@no_dopamine: it sounds like you’ve got a bucket list of books!
Maybe I’ll do that next–a bucket list that is actually a bucket full of scraps of paper with stuff I want to do. When I’m bored or need a break, I’ll grab one and try it out.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm #105309
nellieMemberJuly 1, 2011 at 3:21 pmPost count: 596
no_dopamine, I’m a piler vs a filer as well.
Recently I came up with a way to avoid those crazy piles on my dining room table. I bought a cubby/slot organizers from the office supply store. it has 9 8 1/2 x11 slots that I labeled according to my needs – ex to file, action, etc. this way I can slip the paper into one of the slots and I still get that horizontal order. Not sure why when I tried to do something similar with a vertical file box it really was out of sight out of mind and I would start double files. I figure gotta work with my brain not against it.
As for the over-stuffed wallet full of receipts that always fall out when you’re looking for something in public, I recently bought a large plastic pencil case ( I think that’s what it’s supposed to be) that has two zippered compartments. I keep the receipts and coupons in one compartment and cash in the other. I put my most used cards – debit, credit, driver’s licence, etc. in a small, thin card holder on the money side. This way I can access the cards and can’t stuff a wallet full of receipts. If I need them they are safely stored in the zippered compartment. Not as pretty as my nice leather wallet but seems to keep me from losing things.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm #105310
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 3:28 pmPost count: 14413July 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm #105311
nellieMemberJuly 1, 2011 at 3:45 pmPost count: 596
Pete and no_dopamine,
Did you guys ever watch that old WC Fields movie where he has a huge, huge pile of papers on his desk? Someone asks him for a file and he says something like ” oh yes, 1936…” as he fingers through layers ” it’s right here, ” and pulls out a single sheet from the teeter tottering towering stack on his desk.. My mother and I get a real kick out of that one when we’re looking for something.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm #105312
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 4:16 pmPost count: 14413
Pete, that tote box is just one collection of books I fully intend(ed) to read. I have another bookshelf full of more, and there’s a pile on the end table next to the couch – all mine. I have a book addiction, when I go on holidays, I like to browse used book stores. Last time I found two book barns (literally) and came home with 17 books. I still haven’t read them and that was two years ago. I used to be a voracious reader (even as a child) but lately I can’t find the time to read them.
Your bucket of jobs sounds like the Job Jar from Dagwood & Blondie’s comic strips.
Nellie, that’s how my husband files, in piles. When he was still working (he’s retired), he knew where things were by how deep they were in the pile. Unfortunately he ended up moving out of his office because the extra desk he ordered to hold even more paperwork had filled up and he needed another space for the new piles.
I tried using one of those giant paper organizers years ago (I think it had around 32 slots), and it just made things worse for me. I need to deal with only a few things at a time or I get totally overwhelmed and it paralyzes me. I have an angled desktop rack for the most important things, and a hanging file rack on wheels (open) next to the desk. Paper should go from the desktop rack to the rolling rack. When the rolling rack gets full, I transfer them to the filing cabinet in the basement. But I still do have a lot of unorganized paperwork in piles on my desk with little receipts that go flying whenever I try to dig into the pile for something else. Since I am currently moving my business out of my home, it’s been really stressful since I have things in two places to keep track of.
I like your idea of the pencil case. I am currently using a neat document pouch I bought at MEC, the reason I like it is because it’s not TOO big so it limits what I can fit into it – it only holds pills, big wallet and cellphone. I will have to see if it will hold the pencil case thing you talked about as well as the other items. It has a shoulder strap so I can sling it around my shoulder and clip my keys onto it with a carbiner clip. I also have a clip on watch as well. That way all I have to remember is to find my shoulder bag and everything I need is there. I leave it at the front door at night so I don’t forget where I’ve put it.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm #105313
memzakMemberJuly 1, 2011 at 4:36 pmPost count: 128
LMAO-I needed a laugh! I find something important out of place and say “Oh this would be a good place to keep this” and I never see it again. I did that with the title of a car I sold. Found it 6 months after I sold the car and lost contact with they guy i sold it to. He was junking it so it didn’t matter to him so much. Finding a “safe” place to put something usually leads to disaster. I need a dumpster.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm #105314
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 4:43 pmPost count: 14413
LOL – I hear you on the dumpster! (When I met my ADD husband, the first time I visited him at his office, he was in the lab he’d adopted as his new paperwork cave, and was being kicked out – he had two huge garbage cans and was basically just shoveling paperwork into them).
I find that I waste more time organizing stuff that I never see again. It’s a weakness of mine, I do love to organize but I can’t act on the organization. And I often start to organize and forget what the heck I’m organizing. It’s like going to write something down and forgetting what you wanted to write down. Does that happen to anyone else? Maybe I just need a voice recorder to capture the thoughts.
So I’m trying to learn how to simplify, not to deal with too much at one time, declutter if I can, try to organize my day into slots of activity. I find paperwork overwhelming, so I always try to deal with it as soon as I get it, but I think it might be better if I just put it in a TO-DO folder and deal with it at the end of the day.REPORT ABUSE
Organizing your office2011-06-29T16:11:48+00:00
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