I won't try to kid you into thinking I'm some kind of organizational expert. I am the most disorganized person ever. My professional office is a mess. My home, remarkably, appears to be orderly as long as you don't open a cupboard, drawer or closet.

 

Being disorganized steals my time, energy and money. I buy things I have already because I can't find them, or I spend too much time looking for things I need. That is going to stop. I am declaring before each and every one of you, my dear readers, this is my year to get organized.

I have consulted several professional resources, done a lot of thinking and I've come up with the following steps I will take to achieve my goal.

Step 1. Commitment. I've tried to get organized before, but I have never been fully committed. I trust that making my commitment open and public will make all the difference. Do you hear me? I am going to get organized.

Step 2. Identify the space. Lumping my office and home into a single organizational project is overwhelming. To overcome this, I have divided the task into 12 projects or spaces, one per month in 2010. My home studio where I write, sew, knit, craft and basically create things is a sight to behold. It is huge and filled to capacity. Mark it Project Number One.

Step 3. Identify recipients. I am committed to getting rid of everything I do not use on a regular basis or that I do not find to be incredibly beautiful.  But, I know myself. I will not be able to throw away good things that do not fit these criteria. Before I get started, I need to identify charitable organizations, selling sites, friends or family who will appreciate receiving everything that doesn't make the cut.

Step 4. Three containers. I have labeled these boxes "Keep," "Trash" and "Give." Seems simple enough but, to make sure, I did a practice run on the desk in my home studio. Out of six drawers, I ended up with seven things in the "Keep" box, zero to give away and everything else filled the trash container to overflowing. My desk is clean and nearly empty. The three-container plan worked.

Step 5. A place for everything. Just because I don't practice it, doesn't mean I don't know this secret for being organized: There should be a place for everything and everything in its place. Once I have identified what I will keep in each project space, I am determined to identify a specific place for each thing I own. Then, I'll get into the habit of returning things to their places.

I have cut out a big job for myself in the coming year. Think I can do it? I do. And I plan to take pictures to prove it. I'll keep you posted!

Originally posted March 17, 2010.

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