Friday, July 6, 2007

Clutter Battles and How to Win - Part 2

In my previous post, I wrote about a presentation I attended on personal organizing by Kathie England. She mentioned several books which I would like to share with you. The first is called Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. The idea behind this book had a big impact on me. She told us that sometimes we have a hard time letting go of things. But often, letting go of things makes room in our lives for new things. What was more impactful for me is that she said sometimes we hold on to things because they represent who we used to be. By holding on to those things, we can't move on. But by letting go of those things, we make room in our lives to be someone new. Whoa! I know I have a lot of things that fit into this category and I haven't come to terms with dealing with them because I know they could really shake my life up. I think I have to do some mental preparation.

Another book Kathie mentioned is It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys: The Seven-Step Path to Becoming Truly Organized by Marilyn Paul. I have this book on order from the library and all I can say is the title cracks me up.

Kathie's presentation came at a good time for me. Work on our basement was just about done which meant two things: 1) we could start to organize the basement and 2) we could start to organize the garage. If you are wondering what the garage had to do with the basement, it was the pathway for the workers to the basement. Knowing that it was the garage that was bothering my honey the most, I decided to put my learnings to practice there.

Sometimes a task seems so overwhelming that you don't know where to start. For tackling these tasks, Kathie England suggests starting small. If you spent 10 minutes a day organizing (or doing anything for that matter) at the end of a year you would have spent 60 hours working on it. She actually recommends setting the timer for 10 minutes and then stopping when the timer goes off. Crazy, huh?

The first thing I did, per Kathie's advice, was take "before" photos.

Upper left wall.

Lower left wall

Full left wall.

The first day I grabbed some empty containers and started sorting. I was sorting in very general categories such as tools, metal things to attach other things (nails, screws), adhesive related things (tape, glue, grout), weatherizing, peg board accessories (we had a peg board at the old house but not the new one), painting supplies, etc. The presentation was three weeks ago. That said, I should have spent 210 minutes (or 3.5 hours) working on the garage since then. Truth be told, I would say that I haven't spent quite that much time. I do think I have spent 1.5 hours on my own and another 20 mintues with my honey sorting. He spent 20 more minutes sorting as well. Not too bad considering we went camping for 3 days in the middle. I think we are making really good progress but I have to tell you, we are still sorting! I am thinking that if I post about this process, perhaps I will be more likely to stay with it. I am hoping that this weekend we can finish up the sorting and do some purging. I will definitely keep you posted (pun intended).

1 comment:

Bob Gately said...

That 10 minutes at a pop sounds like a great idea! 60 hours a year could be huge depending on the task you're trying to complete

I saw a funny graphic that discussed the future of google. I was able to locate the pic again (with a google search) but it's out of the original context that I saw it in. What I originally saw was a "google in 2025' thing. Anyway, here's the link to what I did find:

Google in 2025

I think I may have to apply those ideas to the remainder of the stuff in the basement. Although, considering that we've been in the house almost a year I've got to imagine that I don't really need 80% of what's down there. I mean, I haven't used it since at least June of 2006......