Let me start by saying that something AMAZING happened tonight! Today was my first full day back at work, the boys first full day at daycare in a loooong while, and, aside from being a bit emotional, I just knew that I was going to drop when I got home- and in my delirium I would try and get dinner on the table, things cleaned up, babies dressed for bed before I drug myself in to bed by say…. I dunno midnight?! Seriously- visions of frizzed hair, fried brains and blood shot eyes danced through my mind periodically throughout the day….and THEN A MIRACLE OCCURRED! H managed to get the boys home and start spaghetti by 5:30 (huge props to the Hubby for that!) I got home, served up dinner, with relatively little crankiness from anyone. We ate and cleaned up pretty quickly- I even had time to run over the living room with the duster and some Pledge. Last… but most important of ALL…. we got both boys- yes that’s two, dos, deux, due- however you want to say- it in bed before 8:00! Sweet Jesus, I never thought such a thing would ever happen before Little R was, like, 6 years old. Whatever magical-stars-aligned-with-Jupiter-on-the-north-axis-of-Pisces-28degrees-south-of-Jerusalem-hail-Mary-miracle took place to make that happen I have no idea- but I’ll TAKE IT! For the first time in months (almost five to be exact) we had a house of silence at 8:00 pm- and it has lasted just about all evening long!
Okay- now on to the actual point of my post…. I have a very pretty, albeit small, corner in our kitchen/family area that is all mine. Except there is one problem: Because it is located in a common area, it has become the entire households catch all, dump all, clear the table for dinner place. See:
What a disaster it had become! And this happens on a weekly basis. For the longest time I kept trying to wrap my head around a system. I had file folders and baskets and binders and containers galore, but could not manage to keep my little oasis even remotely inviting for more than a nanosecond. And she and I have gone round this little cycle for months now. We had a great love/hate thing going on- completely not conducive to my Happyness zen. I was going over and over things- and drew up a sketch per usual- and still couldn’t figure out what the issue was.
And then the light bulb went off- sometimes there is too much of a good thing. I realized I was suffering from container overload. I had out organized myself….and my systems weren’t working because they were overlapping and never-ending. There was too much stuff, and too many containers. I had a container for filing, shredding, To-Do, to put away up stairs, to fix, to sort (yep that’s right- I had a whole big basket of things that needed to be sorted in to more baskets). I had folders that the filing from the baskets went in to, so that I could then, eventually, put the filing in the folders in to the filing cabinet! This was over-organized madness.
So I emptied every container I had and set it on the table- I sorted through every sheet of paper and filled two trash bags full of junk mail garbage! (Junk mail almost deserves it’s own post here- and I forgot to take a pic of the trash bags before H took them downstairs- I now have a new found -or rather rekindled- hatred of junk mail).
Then I purged further. I tossed a ton of magazines. Last time I purged I said I’d keep my dressage magazines, two equestrian catalogues, some travel magazines for visitors, parenting magazines (you know because being a parent isn’t enough), and our UNC Alumni publications- because I do like to occasionally remind myself that I went to college and spent my days at the coffee shop and sitting on the quad doing homework- back when I had that sort of leisurely time! I also want visitors to know that our lives do not revolve around Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Curious George and matchbox cars. This time- I committed to tossing out all of Dressage Today and all of the parenting magazines and a handful of DIY magazines that I picked up in airports.
After five hours of hard work….VOILA!….my little Happyness haven is all nice and neat!
I decided to use the containers for more permanent storage- i.e. sewing and craft supplies. I vowed not to give myself any containers for mail or office upkeep:
On the desk: I allowed myself the file folders I already had and our family binders (if you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about then check out Jen over at IHeartOrganizing)- everything else had to be filed where it was supposed to go right away. And then- like with the Kitchen– I focused on keeping the surfaces as clear as possible.
How was that for a Sunday afternoon? Now here are my goals to keep it that way:
1- Take 15 to clean up every night.
2- Touch it once – and put it in it’s proper place- not some holding cell (i.e. a basket/folder/desktop).
3- Disallow anyone else’s inclination to pile it on.
4- Deal with the mail every day- including the junk mail.
5- Read the magazines and then toss them ( Exception: UNC Alumni Review and travel mags- can’t let go of those!)
How do you attempt to reign in the clutter and keep your office space neat?
Thanks for visiting and Happyness to All!