Friday, October 24, 2008

Organization It Is: Send me your pressing organizational questions

The vote was unanimous: Next, week, I'll start our 30-Day Organizational Challenge.

But before I do, I want to know: What are your biggest organizational challenges? If you could sit down with a professional organizer and ask her anything, what would be your top five issues?

Let me know and I'll tackle them in the challenge.


Elizabeth Stark said...

1) I hate filing. It isn't about being easy or hard. I just have a huge block about it. I want someone else to do it!

2) Piles everywhere. What is important? What can I throw away, right away? (Not just regarding papers, but in life in general. I recently saw a book called something along the lines of The 134 Essential Things for Life--well, obviously that's not exactly it--but my point is that I realized that I really wanted a list of some limited number of things I should keep, and permission to get rid of everything else. The book didn't turn out to do that, quite . . .

3)I recently realized something incredibly basic. The saying, "A place for everything, and everything in its place" used to baffle me. I imagined having and keeping track of a place for each individual item--the nail clippers, the band aids, the asprin. Then one day, after a friend was helping me get organized, I suddenly understood that this saying referred to categories: a general place for each type of thing, and each type of thing (tools, books, clothes) in its place. This seems obvious now, like all my important insights, but was completely obscured to me before. Are there more incredibly basic concepts I am missing?

4) How to handle overwhelm. How to decide what is important, what to postponed and what to jettison altogether.

5)I have things to get rid of and no good strategy for getting rid of them. I don't want to dump a lot of stuff in landfill if I can help it, and I don't want to spend more money get rid of stuff . . . and I have very little time. What is the most efficient way to get rid of a big mass of stuff (my own, my partner's and my deceased father's . . .).

Thanks for asking!

me said...

Never getting to the stuff that's not "pressing." E.g. the closet that explodes whenever I open it. And balancing getting stuff done with actually enjoying life. Often, on the weekends, it seems like there's only time for one or the other. Not both.

Anonymous said...

Since I voted for organizing, I have to throw in a few of my biggest challenges.

One - How do I keep track of my tax info throughout the year in such a way that it's easy to get it together at tax time and I'm not scrambling to find lost receipts, figure out who paid me when, etc. (Specific parts of that include filing receipts, remembering to keep track of mileage even when it's just a run to the bank etc. and remembering to send quarterly tax payments on time.)

Two - Right now I keep each article's info in a manila folder. What's the best way to store these folders (hanging files don't work because some of the folders are too full with notebooks, brochures etc.) or is there a better way to organize the info for each story.

Three - How to keep personal stuff from encroaching in my office space? Since my office is the only space in the house that's 100 percent mine, I tend to throw stacks of personal paper and stuff that I want to deal with later into my office.

Thanks for doing this!