If you remember, one of my 2012 goals for managing stress was getting organized at work and at my home. Up until now, I have not really been concerned about organization. I know that some people obsess about organizing their life. I am not one of them. I try, but I am not really all that good at it. I have seen people who have systems of color coded files and organize their books alphabetically. I have always relied on my brain to remember where things are located. However, in my increasingly complex life of work and parental responsibilities, this system is starting to break down. At work, my fragile organization system has also deteriorated by having four office moves in the past four years. This has contributed to a lot of files and documents in the wrong places.
At work, my first organization action is to prevent new papers from accumulating un-filed in my office. As new things come in, like mail, I am trying to get rid of them immediately. I am also trying to file all paper documents that have piled up recently. After I accomplish that, I hope to clean out and reduce the paper and electronic files.
At home, I have been trying to pull things out of closets and drawers. I throw out or give away things we no longer need and better organize things that we choose to keep. I started this process with the gift wrap from the holidays and then moved on to the silverware drawer and the bathroom closet.
There have been some unexpected benefits of getting organized. Over the weekend I found a check that I had forgotten on a pile of papers in the kitchen. This is why direct deposit is so essential to my life.
I also found some makeup that I did not realize that I had bought when I cleaned out my bathroom closet. I was planning to buy some of the same makeup over the weekend, so for me it was like a birthday gift just hanging out in the closet.
These small gifts have made the process of organizing kind of interesting. It is like organization has its own built in positive reinforcement. These experiences also remind me of times where I have helped family members organize their homes. At one relative’s house, I found a diamond ring, a handwritten book tracing our family back many generations, and a book of photographs of people in covered wagons. I wondered how in the world these seemingly priceless items had been shoved in a drawer and forgotten. Now I understand how this can happen. Regardless, it was lovely to discover these family treasures.
Have you ever found something unexpected when organizing your home, work, or someone else’s home?