Search This Blog

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It Should Be Paris

It should be Paris but it isn't....It is clutter 1,2,3 and 4.

No this isn't a resolution, this is reality....fixing my unorganized mess. It has been impossible to find anything and very hard to do business.  I do everything at this desk and it has been a frustrating ball of tangled yarn getting anything accomplished.

When I realized I needed an intervention I called Jane Davis, who is to organization what Philo Farnsworth is to television.  Jane came over and surveyed the whole situation, because I really wanted help I remained ego-less and simply hopeful there was a solution.  I didn't cringe when she saw just how overwhelmed I was with paper and stuff, I just wanted a road map.

First she told me I wasn't a hoarder and she had seen much, much worse.  Jane is an extremely patient person and wasn't critical.  She explained to me how many offices and homes she had organized and how much better they ran after a few simple steps.  Easy Peasey.

Then she said something I had to hear in order to go forward....."Time is money".  Jane told me about a law firm she started with that basically operated out of a bedroom and is now 18 attorneys.  She attributes a great deal of their success with the organization she instituted in their office.  As she surveyed my mess she told me the hard truth, it is impossible to do business when you don't know where anything is.  Time is wasted looking for things that should be within an arm's reach.  I know this is true when I would think about all the times I wrote notes on anything I could, envelopes, scraps of paper and open books when I couldn't find my note pad.  I would search endlessly for my calendar which would be at the bottom of the bills, or in the kitchen, dining room or even one time my car.  I know I lost business just because I was so unorganized.

Here are the simple steps she asked me to do this week.

1.) Accept change.  That is actually the hardest part, but I have to make our business work, so I will change.  Done

2.) Clear off the desk....of everything....some things can be added back, but for now a clear surface

3.) Clear out the bookshelves next to my desk, I can put files there....or things that have something to do with work and not art books, unfiled papers and broken scot tape containers

4.) Get containers...the chest above was filled with papers I hadn't looked at in 5 years, and that chest can be used for the business files.  Space is important, stuff isn't.
Stuff falls into 3 categories, possessions (accumulated stuff) Treasures (things you love that cannot be replaced) Keepsakes (things people have given you that you really don't care about but you keep them in case your Aunt comes by and looks for lamp she gave you).  So I went through the chest and didn't have to decide about a lot of things, I could just put them in the clear container - has to be clear so that you see what it is right away.  And I could go through it on a Sunday afternoon, no pressure.  It actually took away some angst I would experience when trying to decide to keep something or not.

She also told me to get rid of anything that can be replaced for less than $50.  You know what you say, "I might need this one day"  And maybe you will, but when a whole cupboard is filled with things you might use, then it is just clutter.

I have one week to get this done and she is coming back to help me with the next step.  She isn't coming to check on me, she is coming to implement the next step.  No pressure, nothing hanging over my head.  She was very persuasive in her approach in helping me understand what I will gain from organization.


I don't believe in complete control, things always occur, but I will have a much better picture of what needs to be done.  And I will be able to find it.  I have to put things I use in the same place every time.  Every time.  Just a few steps will give me the tools I need.  One thing Martha Stewart always says, use the best tool for the job.

Back to work, Paris is under here somewhere...