Spring cleaning is still in full force around here. As I mentioned previously, I believe that a cluttered space inhibits productivity and leads to unnecessary stress. So often, we are surrounded by stuff. Things don’t help us, they just get in the way. So, I have been trying to eliminate anything that I feel is extra, useless, or otherwise hindering my genius. (That last bit was a joke).
I started with my closet and dresser, and am proud to say that I’ve kept up with the organization. I no longer let my hamper overflow before doing laundry, and I almost always put things where they belong at the end of the day (some nights I leave clothing in a pile, but I always attend to it the next morning). Maintaining organization doesn’t take very much effort when done in regular, small bits, and I’ve noticed that my “what am I going to wear?!” and “where the hell is that shirt!?” stress has gone way down. Also, laundry is way less daunting when you do it one load at a time instead of three loads in a row.
Next up on the list: desk and accessories (makeup, hair products, jewelry, nail polish, etc). No, these two things are not remotely related, but they’re both small areas and I didn’t want to cheat by giving them each their own cleaning day.
Organizing accessories and makeup is exactly the same as organizing clothing, except the items are smaller (duh). I went through all of my headbands, hair gel, necklaces, rings, everything and tossed out items that I knew were old, worn out, stretched out or that I knew I would never wear/use again. I also tossed out makeup and nail polish that I knew were too old and therefore probably not so great to be putting on my skin.
If you’re unsure about how old is too old, check out this list from about.com. It gives you a good idea of when you should be tossing your products
Normally I’m a concealer, mascara, chapstick girl, so I don’t need to own a ton of makeup. I’d rather have a few things that I really like so that I can find them when I want to use them. Same with jewelry – I love earrings and usually wear a different pair every day, but rings and long necklaces get in the way at my job, so I can’t often wear them. I’m not going to keep a huge collection of jewelry around “just in case”. Clutter = bad. BAD I say!
Just keep in mind what your daily life is like. If you are someone who likes to wear makeup and experiment with different eyeshadow combinations, you’re going to want to hang on to more than someone who, like me, will go with or without depending on my mood. If you work in an office, you can probably wear more jewelry than someone who works with children. The whole point of an extensive cleaning/organizing spree is to get your life in order. Don’t worry about what everyone else has or wears or what makeup they are using. Keep what you like, need and use and toss the rest. Trust me, you’ll feel better.
The desk organization was a little more daunting. Since I’m clearly in the middle of a “holy crap, what is my life?” phase, my workspace is really more of an ambiguous project arena. I’m a post-it note/to-do list freak, so I had a billion little pieces of paper and stacks of half-filled notebooks everywhere.
The first thing I did was remove everything that didn’t even resemble work ~ things like my jewelry box, nail polish, pictures, a Sponge Bob toy (you heard me), books, etc. They can all go other places: pictures on the wall, books on the nightstand, Sponge Bob on a shelf. It’s so much harder to focus on work when I can’t actually see what I’m working on.
Then I made a trip to Staples, picked up some 3-ring binders and came home to get my file on. I went through every piece of paper and determined if I really needed to hold on to it. Some things, like expired coupons, old to-do lists and phone numbers that are programmed into my phone, were easy to throw out. Papers I knew I should hold on to, like anything to do with student loans (gross), I sorted, 3-hole punched and put in a binder.
I now have four binders on my desk (standing up in a handy holder I found) ~ one is for student loan info, one for recipes (since I usually look them up online and print them at my desk), one for expense reports and one for miscellaneous info (car insurance paperwork, prescriptions, a rules and regulations handbook from work). I also took my plethora of notebooks and combined them into one notebook ~ the ultimate notebook! The notebook to end all notebooks! It’s epic, if you couldn’t tell. It’s basically like a journal, where I write down anything that comes to my mind during the day – things I need to do and ideas pertaining to my blog, work or really just about anything ~ I like having it all in one place. That way, at the end of the day, I can flip through and see what I jotted down and what I need to accomplish and make a to-do list for the following day.
For those who are wondering, I also keep a mini notebook and a planner in my purse. The mini notebook is for on-the-go revelations and the planner has all of my appointments in it, ‘cause I’m a busy girl. Again, whatever works for you. Some people like to keep multiple notebooks, some need to write on graph paper, others stick lists on their refrigerator. It doesn’t matter what your system is, as long as you have one. I’m not saying that I am going to become an organization freak, or that I’ll panic if I can’t get through a to-do list. I just like that I now know where everything is, that my paperwork has a designated spot and I can *gasp* see my desk. It’s a Christmas miracle! (I’m aware that it’s May. Don’t think too hard about it).
Up Next (and Last!): Bookshelf organization, aka: holy crap, girl, too many books.