Monday, June 2, 2014

I've never been an organized person outside of work

When I'm at work, I'm super-organized. And actually, I like organizing wherever I am. I like the feeling that everything has a place that I can put it in and where it lives.

But here's the thing: I severely dislike the upkeep, and so in my personal life, all my stuff tends toward entropy. Having a cat (ie: an agent of entropy) doesn't really help the fact that I tend to just stack stuff up within arm's reach of wherever I am--the side of the couch where I usually sit, my desk, the bed*.

Job stuff requires neatness and organization, and I love a clean workspace. But I haven't had a job outside the home in almost four years, and I don't have a dedicated workspace at home, so things get...blurry. The dividing line between life and work, business and pleasure, all of it sort of grades into each other. Most of the time that's great. I'm making what little living I have doing things I like to do***, but sometimes I just look at this nest of things I've built and it about drives me crazy.

It's a constant struggle for me. The battle between the fact that I need to see everything I'm working with to remember that it's there, and the fact that if you can see everything, it's probably not put away in any sense of the word.

So here's what I'm doing:

I'm going to make work stations. I'm going to find cheap tables that I can work on, and I'm going to carve out a space just for writing, independent of the computer, where I can lay out pages and notes and whatever else. I'm going to carve out a space for crafting on another table, and keep all the crafting stuff--yarn and paint and piles of papercraft stuff--in a clear drawer thing under it, so it's there and I can see it, but it's where it needs to be. If I can fit a third table in this tiny room, I'm going to set up my sewing machine, because I've been itching to get back to my quilt that I've been working on for literally a decade.

I'm going to chuck everything I know--or have been told--about organization, and I'm going to come up with my own system that balances the need to be able to grab what I need without searching for it, the need for space to work on, and the need to not be a total mess all the time.

And then I'm going to share what I learn about the whole process.

I've already got a pretty good system for day-to-day scheduling--between my journal being full of to-do lists, the schedule page I make up each Sunday or Monday for the week, and the calendar pages where I track my monthly writing goals, what I did each day, and how I felt, it's a pretty smooth system, as long as I remember to stick to it and look at it. Now it's time to figure out a way to keep the rest of my life in line.

How do you keep organized?

*Or whatever I'm currently using as a bed. Right now, the room I'm in doesn't have space for a bed, so I sleep on the couch like a transient house-guest in my own place.**
**I actually like sleeping on things that are not beds, and I love having more than one surface I can sleep on in a house...but I do miss a real bed, so I'm working on that problem.
***Making nail polish and selling it to lovely girls and the occasional boy all over the world! Writing stories! Blogging! Watching those monster-babies! Crafting!
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