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Looking ahead

Looking ahead is an important part of organization, but also of life in general.  So often we’re caught up in the minutia–the plodding progress of daily activities.  When we forget to look ahead to our ultimate goals, to the bigger picture, it gets harder and harder to get through the potential toil of everyday.  At the same time, the small victories seem just that, small.  Without perspective it’s hard to see that those victories are adding up, little by little, to that which we really want–whatever that may be.  With regard to organization, ten minutes every day dedicated to straightening up may end up creating an organizational habit that becomes a part of your life and helps your peace of mind.  A written reminder by the office telephone that at 5:00 your day ends could save you a few more minutes everyday to chat on the phone with a friend or family member (instead of staying at work–which may not be the direction you would like your life to take.)

You can live day to day, but life requires that you look ahead.

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Just to clarify, I care about organization, but I also care about the english language.  I had to remove the picture from yesterday’s entry because “organized” was actually spelled “organizized” and I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Never fear though–I have a new picture for you today with absolutely no spelling errors!

Here we have a pretty chic and organized space.  Shelves with baskets, a great color scheme, work space and a couch all in one.

But is it really a couch?  Look closer…

What at first glance seems to be a couch, is actually a Murphy bed.  That means that while not in use, that baby folds up and out of sight!  It is the perfect idea for any guest room that gets only moderate to little use.  Why take up all that floor space (like I currently do) with a bed that’s only used about a dozen times a year?

Well I’m not sure if you guys get as excited about Murphy beds as I do–but maybe you’ll at least be inspired by the other organizational elements in this space.  Either way, I hope your weekends are nice…and neat!

If I asked you what the number one “worst enemy” of the organizer is–you might say mail, or judging by the nearly 80 hits on my tuperware entry, you might guess kitchen cabinets.  Perhaps you would guess that it’s the “miscelaneous” closet, the desk drawer or the garage.

In truth, it is none of these things.  Where there is a will, there’s most certainly a way.

No, the number one roadblock for anyone attempting to get organized is procrastination.  “I would totally organize the office except the game’s on.”  “I would definitely find a place for the tools in the garage but first I have to do some research on the computer/go to the store/visit my family/attend this meeting…”

This is not to say that all of these things aren’t true.  Watching the game, going to the store, visiting family–those are all excellent pursuits!  But think back to how many times you’ve done those things instead of your equally excellent goal of getting organized.

So why do we procrastinate?

  • We just don’t want to do something.
  • We want to, but feel that we don’t have time.
  • We want to, but we don’t have enough information to begin.
  • We want to, but feel that we don’t know how.
  • We want to, but we don’t have the resources to do it correctly.
  • We want to, but we’re waiting on someone else.

There are plenty of reasons to wait, but waiting changes nothing.  If you can only dedicate 5 minutes a day to it–make sure you set the timer for 5 minutes every day.  If the most important thing for you to keep track of is bills–find a way to just keep those in the forefront of your mind.

Or, if your challenge is on a slightly larger scale, you can always give me a call.  It is my business after all, or as Andy says, “my deal.”

Got Milk (crates)?

Milk crates.  They’re in pretty much every college dorm room.  They come in just about every color of the rainbow.  They are also stackable in multiple directions, hard enough so they don’t warp under pressure, relatively inexpensive, and completely useful in your post-college years.  At realsimple.com, they show them being used in a laundry room.

In my house I have a few on a pre-existing shelf in the garage.  They hold an assortment of sports paraphernalia.  They are also the correct size to hold file folders, and thus make a pretty handy office organization solution as well.

Anyone else still using milk crates for anything even though you’re now a big-bad adult?  Fess up…you know you do…

I kind of hate that Christmas shows up in stores before Halloween, but this year, with everything that’s going on–I thought that I should start making a plan.  I don’t really know how my time will need to be spent over the next few months.  Things seem to just keep…popping up right and left and work has been oozing into my evenings and weekends this semester more than it has since my first year at this job.

So what did I do?  I turned to the App store on my trusty iPod Touch.  I found an App called “Better Christmas List” by Andrew Grant.  Here are just a few of the pluses:

  • It’s on my iPod, which means it comes everywhere with me
  • It breaks your list down for you into “Family,” “Friends,” and, “Other” (you can also add groups and customize it as you’d like)
  • Under each heading, you can add your specific family or friends, co-workers,etc…  It creates a folder for each and each person’s name shows up on the main “homepage” list so you can easily access their information.
  • It also has an “overview” that lets you take a look at everything.
  • It has a budget calculator and lets you know what you’ve spent on everyone.
  • Under each heading, you put in what to buy, wrap or mail.  Then you can check off what you’ve already done.  You can set this feature to show both the gifts that are all set AND the gifts left to deal with, or you can have it just show what’s left to do.
  • Finally–it tells you how many days are left until Christmas in a header at the top (that’s 74 by the way…)

This is going to make keeping track of Christmas gifts and budget much easier this year.  Now if only they would make an App that would go out and actually do the shopping for me…

Lol…

It’s friday, and while on friday’s I try to provide something to inspire organization or beauty in your weekend…this was just too perfect.  Thanks to Gabriel for sending it along.  (And of course…LOL Cats…)

Happy friday everyone!  I hope your weekends are nice…and neat!

Story time everyone!  Gather ’round…

Once upon a time there was a girl who had a rather busy job doing all sorts of random things at a school at a university.  She took care of the schedule for her school, answered phone calls, moved chairs and other items…pretty much anything asked.  As part of her job doing the schedule, she was often called upon to schedule pretty important things, so she kept very close track of all of her phone calls in a single, chronological log, and kept all of her emails.

One day, the girl’s boss’s boss’s administrative assistant called.  One of those important people called about one of those very important things that was scheduled.  They were under the impression that it was scheduled for a different day than the girl had scheduled it.  The girl, having the emails, brought one forward which described the original date of the event.  They countered that the very important people had claimed to have called and “confirmed on the phone” the change of date.  The girl asked what date the call had come.  The answer was “sometime after August 2nd.”  The girl looked back through that chronological log of every phone call and message she had ever gotten and confirmed that no one had called to change the date.

The moral of this story is that organization can not just help you save a little time or money.  It can help you save your job.  If you are consistently more organized and thorough, then even when you come up against the word of “more important” people, you will fair alright because you will be able to go straight to the document, the phone call, the email, the fax, the notes…and produce the truth.