Followup, day 10


My follow up to day 10's organizational effort.



Most everything was already in place, and in reach. I threw out the old dog medicines and the nutritional supplements I won't use. I moved the bowls we use most regularly down to the bottom shelf. I also moved the small plates we use more frequently than the big plates closer to the middle. The glasses we use most frequently, the glass ones as I don't use the plastic one very much since I learned the plastics leech environmental estrogens, are in the next shelf up. The big white chili bowls are off to the side, as are the other cups we use only rarely.

At some point, I'll need to clean out that top shelf, getting rid of all of the cups we never use. Maybe during some 20 minute fit of organization.

Getting organized - day 12


Day 12 Power up. "Clutter often happens when you're unsure what to do with something or can't remember why you have it," says Erica Ecker, founder of The Spacialist, an organizing company in NYC. To avoid mystery jumbles, label chargers and cords with masking tape (e.g. Canon Elph camera) right when you get them. Date those you can't identify with tape, and stow them separately. If they languish anonymously for more than a yaer, toss 'em.

The fundamental idea of this suggestion is "make sure you know what you have," but also the golden rule from William Morris, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

The specific suggestion here is to label your power chargers, though what nitwit would use masking tape to label their power supplies? Ugh, hello, nitwit-who-suggested-this, masking tape glue yellows and turns brittle with age. And that's after it gets all gooey from the heat of the powersupply.

No, don't use masking tape (retard who suggested that one, and I don't believe it was Erica - she gave the general suggestion, not the moronic specific).

Instead, use a silver sharpie!

It's permanent. It's visible on the black power supplies. It's perfect.

More importantly, no goo.

If you want, of course, you can use the black sharpie.

But, HEY! You can use the pink sharpie if you're adventurous!

Or, the blue one. Yeah, that one works, too, for the right power supply, like an Apple computer brick.

Who knew that getting organized could be so entertaining?

P.S. Thanks, Kyle and Emily, for inspiring me! I'm still cracking me up.

Getting organized - day 11


Day 11 Get invited back. Keep a pretty, blank card and envelope on your person at all times so [that] you can express appreciation whenever you're inclined. Jot a grateful note to a coworker for saving your patootie in a meeting. Or leave a missive in a pal's guest room after she hosts you for the weekend. It's never too early to say thank you!

Okay, aside from the fact that this would be the perfect lead in to April's website-of-the-month new year's resolution/goal I have, I don't see how this helps me be more organized. Well, okay, other than, maybe, help me send out my wedding thank you cards. You know, the ones that are three and a half years over due at this point?

But, thank you cards on your person? At all times? I mean, if that doesn't scream "Put this items into your backpack!" I don't know what would.

Except I don't want to carry around a card on my person at all times. Have you ever done this? I have, and it ruins the cards. The corners become bent. The edges of the card soften. The card begins to look like a battered condom package that has carted around in some teenager's wallet for three years, because you JUST NEVER KNOW.

Yeah, another one I'm not doing. I'm back to my 20 minutes of intense work, followed by another before and after photo session of my everything has a place, everything compartmentalized, the good stuff within reach organizations today.

Getting organized - day 10


Today's cleanup suggestion makes a lot of sense:

Day 10 Flaunt your favorites. "Put things you use most frequently — your breakfast bowls and the go-to coffee mug — at a height somewhere between your hips and shoulders, " Lisa Zaslow says. Grandma's cordial glassses, on the other hand, can be stashed up and away until your next cocktail fête. Apply this idea to one section of your kitchen today, then gradually do it through out your abode.

... aaaaand ... is already in play in our house. I guess we're more organized than I thought.

Not that you can tell from our house.

Organized to me means there's a place for everything, everything is in its place, and those places aren't a jumbled mess. Of course, even with everything a jumbled mess, I can still find most everything in the house. Just ask Andy where the thermostat (and instructions!) were.

Ooooookaaaaaaay, I guess the kitchen can use some fixes, though, so I'll go ahead and try this. Everyone who's been to my house and seen my kitchen knows, owning one of every type of appliance (except the microwave and broiler) means there's a lot of cooking items in that kitchen.

A lot.

Getting organized - day 9


Day 9: Unscramble your kicks. Skip the multitiered trees, wobbly racks and footwear Ferris wheels. THe most efficient way to store shoes in to satck them in the boxes they came in, Walsh says. Use a permanent black marker to jot down identifying details (fuchsia sandals or tweed wedges) on paper and tape to the front of each box. FInding your patent leather pumps will be a walk in the park.

You know, I'd hate to be a guy reading this get-organized list. I mean, what is a guy going to do with fuchsia sandals? Hell, what would I do with fuchsia sandals? Oh, yeah! I don't!

Another one of the "this would be a great suggestion, if only it actually applied to me and my lifestyle" suggestions.

I don't own that many shoes. I have one pair of really nice shoes from Katie. I have three pairs of cleats. I have two pairs of running shoes. I have two pairs of just walking around shoes. I have two pairs of sandals: one sporty and one dressy. And I own one pair of black flats (come to think of it, also from Katie).

The cleats are in my ultimate bag. My running shoes are by the door, with my walking around shoes and sandals. My flats are next to Kris' shoes by the front door.

And the really nice pair of shoes from Katie is in Kris' closet, with my other really next clothes in my 3 feet of closet space.

So, yeah, the wobbly trees and ferris wheels don't really apply to me. Maybe someone else could use the suggestion.

Getting organized - day 8


Good thing these getting organized tasks have easy ones in the middle. Given they're building up, and I'm up to 7 organizational tasks each day (turning all of Kris' hangers every day is getting tiring), and I'm running out of work time with all of them.

Not really.

But today's is an easy one:

Day 8: Jettison junk mail. To prevent flyers and catalogs from ending up in a teeteringpile, station a recycling bin by the door and get rid of throwaways as they cross your threshold. "Treat mail s you would a suspicious intruder. Let it into your home on ly after you've vetted it," Walsh says. Place legitimate mail in a folder and deal with it once a week.

Years ago, I learned the trick of touching mail once. Each piece of mail is touched once before dealing with it. If it's a bill, it's opened immediately, check written (yes, I still write checks, I like writing checks!), envelope stuffed, flap sealed, stamp added. If it's junk mail, the envelope goes into the trash if it has a plastic window (which are retarded, by the way), any paper with my address on it goes into the shredder, and all other paper goes into the paper recycling bag.

If it's a catalog, well, the pages with my address on them go into the shredder, an the rest goes into the paper recycling bag. I'm currently working on the austerity program, and spending money from a catalog doesn't really work with the program. Chances are, if I don't have a gift certificate, it's not in the budget. It happens.

So, yeah, another easy day, since the suggestion is already a habit.

Getting organized - day 7


Today's suggestion is actually a pretty good one:

Day 7: Divide, then conquer You neaten a drawer or the top shelf of your closet, only to see it revert to its unruly set point. Meet your new favorite thing: the insertable storage divider. Use it to divvy up space so [that] you can access what you need (thights, a corkscrew) wihtout disturbing the larger order. Scan for spots that backslide to see if cubbifying could do them (and you) good.

It's basically reducing overwhelming tasks into smaller, managable tasks, but for physical objects instead of non-physical things like to-do lists.

I wonder if I can compartmentalize my index cards...

Probably not. So, I tried my desk drawer. I really should have taken a before picture, because 10000 words would not describe the disaster of that drawer. It was basically full to the top with stuff: office supplies, paper, keys, stamps, return address labels, more office supplies, and crap.

I had one little dish in the drawer that was overloaded. The dish was from Max and Rosa's wedding, one of the guest gifts. I asked if I could have a set of the extras they had, after snagging Kris', Ben's and Lisa's dishes. They're adorable little fishes.

They're also perfect in my desk drawer:

I give this desk drawer one month before reverting to disaster state. It'll be a pleasant month.

Getting organized - day 6


Today's Getting Organized tip read:

Day 6 Set the table for breakfast. Prep for your morning meal in the evening. Arrange your cereal-filled bowl, juice glass, coffee cup and utensils. In the A.M., just add liquids and chow. You'll avoid a depseration Danish en route to work, along with the extra calories.

Clearly the author of this tip doesn't have dogs, and definitely doesn't have beagles. Leaving food out overnight? Uh, that's as close to being sane as enjoying the sensation of white hot forks of displeasure.

Besides, pouring liquid into a bowl of cereal is NOT the proper way to eat cereal. As if any sane person would put the cereal into a bowl, then pour milk over it. Way to guarantee yourself a miserable SOGGY bowl of cereal. Yum.

This tip also assumes you don't eat Sugar Corn Pops, er, Corn Pops, the "sugar" part gone the way of the dodo in this "healthy" breakfast world. The Corn Pops would be staler than a two week old loaf of bread.


Stale and soggy cereal?

No thanks. I'll pass on this tip, and eat my yogurt cold and my oatmeal hot, thankyouverymuch.

Oh, and the "coffee" part? Yeah, that would be the other K in the house. The one not getting organized.

Getting organized - day 5


Okay, those loyal followers, and those humoured by my attempts to get organized, may have noticed a lack of organizational effort today, Day 5 of my 30 days to organizational success.

Well, I wasn't a complete slacker. During the necessary breaks, I managed to make the bed with Kris's "help." I spent 20 minutes decluttering the living room, where decluttering here means "shove everything into a box to look at later." I then turned all of the hangers in the closet back around (twelve days of Christmas, 30 french hens, all of which the beagles will eat), and decided to leave them.

Today's recommendation for organizing totally fails for me:

Day 5 Put workout gear on standby. Have your gym bag permapacked so [that] when the urge to exercise strikes (or that work lunch is cancelled), you can pounce. Include sneakers, a lock, toiletries and a water bottle, along with a sports bra, shorts and a T-shirt. Stash the kit in our car, or create two and stow one at home and another under your desk.

This fails because the exercise I do isn't exercise done on a whim. Ultimate needs at least another seven people to make it worth while. The classes I take at Velocity are at specific times, and require driving or training to the facility. Going for a walk requires little more than the sports bra that I'm always wearing (the mono-boob look is soooo in right now) and the running shoes I'm usually wearing. My office door is about 15 feet from my closet, so retrieving shorts is easy. My cleats are next to the door, should someone call me up and say, hey, wanna throw?

Though, an IM is actually more likely.

So, yeah, didn't do anything with this one, today. This getting organized is easier than I thought!

Getting organized - day 4


Wow, this getting organized kick keeps getting easier and easier.

I'm fairly certain these tasks are supposed to be like the twelve days of Christmas, 12 partridges, 22 turtles, 30 bed makings and 29 times 20 minutes of intense activity, of which 4 bed makings are done.

Though, I did need to boot the dog out of the bed first.

My burst of 20 minutes of activity was more productive today, managing to clean out the refridgerator. I didn't wash it down, but at least everything in it is currently edible. Yay, edible food!

I also turned the closet hangers today, because, you know.

Day 4 Find homes for nomads. Assign reseting spots to your gypsy items and your "O house keys, where art thou?" moments will be rare. Try a tray for your phone, iPod and chargers and a hook by teh door for hte house keys. As for outbound objects (Netflix returns, library books), toss them in a basket, also by the exit, Lisa Zaslow says. Grab and go!

Regardless of what I might have said about yesterday's tip possibily being the one of the most brilliant organization ideas ever, this one actually is one.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, one I've been doing for years.

I guess this makes today's task done!