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Friday, February 26, 2016

3 Action Steps to Take Today on the Road to Being Organized AND Creative

Sometimes it just feels like these two concepts can't possibly coexist!  I mean, to be organized means to be rigid, habitual, set in one's ways; whereas, to be creative means to be spontaneous, carefree, not tied down to a system.  Right?!

Well, I refuse to believe that!  I have to believe that the two can be compatible. And I don't think I'm the only one.  But, as I struggle to do well at my "real" job, take care of my mom and husband (and don't think I'm being a 50s wife here, he does a lot for me too, just not in the cleaning, organizing department ;-), and be creative, I don't have a lot of time to really do things the way I would like to do them.

And, of course, it's almost March, and I still haven't fulfilled my New Year's resolution of getting my planner set up and my workspace/creative space organized!  So, in the spirit of holding myself accountable and taking action, I'm writing about it here hopefully to help all of us who are similarly struggling.

I just came across some wonderful inspiration also.  Just take a look at Andrea's Notebook and her creative home office reveal!  I'm seriously thinking about setting up a pegboard because going vertical is a better option than going horizontal -- I really need the desk space to have room to create and not feel cluttered (by the way, like Andrea, I am NOT posting any "before" photos because it's just too embarrassing, no one needs to see this!)

So, since I'm blogging and taking action in real time on this project (and am encouraging you to do the same as well), let's start with STEP 1 -- figuring out exactly what needs to be organized.  Think about what YOU need and want, not what the organizing gurus tell you you should need and want.  For example, even though it would be great to have all of my craft stuff all in one place, I don't think it's feasible and necessarily desirable for me.  I like to crochet in the living room, so having my yarns and tools in cabinets in the hallway and dining room (yes, you read that right!) works for me.  The bedroom, where my first organization project is taking place, is where I like to do my computer work, for both personal and business purposes.  Having said that, I can see how the pegboard system on the wall above my desk would help in having some of my crochet yarns and tools right on hand that I need when doing some computer work in writing up the patterns, etc.

My biggest challenge in this space is managing paper.  Although I've been trying hard to go electronic (and organizing electronic files is a topic all on its own!), there are some things that I just feel the need to have on paper.  But managing all the junk mail and "stuff" is challenging for me; I'm getting better about sorting (and throwing away) mail and papers in the hallway or living room when it first comes in the apartment so that what gets carried into the bedroom office area is just the important paper.  But, what then?!

Ok, so here is our assignment for today:

1) Make a list of the items that give you the hardest time with organization.  For me, it's bills and other important paperwork that needs to get done by a certain date, articles and stuff that I want to read later, business cards that I pick up along the way, coupons I know I should be using, crochet magazines that I can't bring myself to throw out, and half-written crochet patterns and notes that I take about projects I've started or plan on undertaking someday.

2) Think about what helps you stay organized.  Do you like using folders?  Maybe binders.  How about boxes and/or shelving?   Your iPhone?  I really like all of it but for different things -- folders for particular topics, but I'm thinking about using a binder for my planner this year.  I'm such a creature of habit, so I need to incorporate the spiral notebooks and other things that I've already created into my new system.

3) Start gathering what you already own and figuring out what you need to buy.  I've already got a ton of file boxes and folders, but I really need to get that pegboard for the wall.  Thankfully, I've got a Staples coupon, so I'm going to start there first (I've been looking online as well and have an idea of what I want and how much it's going to cost).  And, as I look around in this space, just like Andrea said, it might be worth the investment to buy some coordinating furniture rather than cobbling things together.

Come on, not such a hard assignment to get started!  My next installment will be about getting into the nitty-gritty details.

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