Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's that time of year...

for organizing. I know I know you are still thinking about gingerbread cookies, last minute Christmas gifts and what to wear on Christmas eve. And to some extent I am too. But I'm also thinking about post Christmas organizing. I'm sure you've already started receiving those January magazines in the mail with their picture perfect offices and linen closets that manage to both inspire and infuriate* you at the same time. I both love and hate this time of year. On the one hand I love the idea of organization. I love the idea of everything in it's place, of colorful file folders with whimsical labels and coordinating office supplies. But in reality my life is organized chaos at best. This year, however, is different. We, Chris and I, are determined to organize our lives. Which as of late have been less than organized. And this past month the lack of organization has lead to multiple fights. As Chris starts up a law practice, we are suddenly dealing with many complicated student loans, he's dealing with VA paperwork, I'm trying to deal with household paperwork and I'm working many more hours the old system (fragile at best) has collapsed. Last weekend when I was looking for articles on organizing household paper work I found this blog post. It has already helped me. It's simple, clear and effective.

I also found this, which overall sounds a little much but has, I think, a really brilliant component, a book for lists, ideas, and whatever. As I was reading this and thinking about it I remembered that in college I had a similar book it was for all of my philosophy notes and ideas. All class notes, reading notes, ideas for papers, outlines, questions, books to read, thinkers to look up, and other random notes lived in one black book that went everywhere with me. I think I need to re-introduce my this into my system. Right now what I have is a very fragmented system for keeping track of things, a lot is on my computer, a lot is in loose leaf papers floating around my desk and purse, and a lot is just living in my brain waiting to be forgoten. But how great is one book, half can be work related and half can be personal. There will be a section for to do lists, goals, notes, lists of books to read, things to look up, presents I want*, even my budget and financial planning could be pasted it. While these two ideas won't fix the chaos that is my life by themselves they are big steps in the right direction. What about you? What are your "organizing your life" tips?

*I mean really! no body's linen closet is that perfect and it is just plain rude to suggest to an overburdened overworked stressed out woman that hers should be
*I don't know about you but everyday of the year until the month of my birthday/Christmas I can think of 30 things i want, but the day a parent/sibling/husband asks what i want i become clueless. so I've started keeping a list.
*image found here

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