The Crankee Yankee and I live in a relatively small house, and we have more stuff than space. The main issue is organization, which takes time and thought, not to mention discipline. What I have learned over time is not to take it on all at once, but in a series of what I call “little bites.”
For example, our desktop computer sits in the middle of our office table. Over the years, I’ve taken over the left side of the computer to keep items I use frequently, and the Crankee Yankee has the right side for his stuff. It is amazing how quickly both sides can turn to debris.
So I have had to become an archaeologist, sifting through layers of those things that have accumulated on my side of the computer; finding both trash and treasure. But, over a mere two days’ time, I managed to organize what I need and toss the rest. I’ve also been able to start working on the three shelves over the computer table.
I found things I’d forgotten we had, such as those great little sticky notes; good for leaving the Crankee Yankee messages like “Did you take your vitamins today?” I also found loads of scotch tape refills, labels, push-pins and more. All the time I was working on bringing order to chaos, I was muttering, ‘why in the HELL did I wait so long to do this?’
Then I stopped to take a look around the whole office, not just my little bit of it. There is a LOT to be done, more stuff to sort through, and stacks of stuff I’ll bet we never needed in the first place. For example, we have a small bookcase full of old phone books. Seriously–phone books–from 2007 on! Needless to say, they are going right into the old burn-it pile.
I truly admire those who can take on an entire room and have it whipped into shape by the end of the day. Now my mom could do that easily. Unfortunately, it looks like I haven’t inherited that particular gene. But what I have learned is that I work best when I work in little bites. This way I see the progress and am encouraged to do more the next day. Most of all, I don’t feel overwhelmed.
There are more areas in the house that need help, too, but I plan to just ‘little bite’ my way through the whole thing. Here’s the thing: we are who we are, with our own particular tools and talents. Some of us can break down a messy and disorganized office in a day, others of us need to divide it into smaller parts.
I work successfully when I do things my own way, not the way others would. There’s no sense beating myself up over it; it’s just who I am and how I work. Take from this post what you will, but also know that we are more successful when we are true to ourselves. There is a reason why we are what we are—let’s not fight it, but learn to work with it.