50 Weeks to Organized: Week Nine

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Okay, I’ll confess: I’m a bit embarrassed to let you see the before shots on what was in my purse. I knew it had gotten bad (really bad), but I guess I was still in a slight state of denial because I had somehow let it get to this:

And, if you really want to get technical, this picture is still missing some stuff.

I know.

Mortifying.

Basically what I always have done is just throw everything in my purse (to deal with later), and somehow, that “later” just never comes.

Until the day when my back and shoulders and neck have just about had it, that is. (That day was last week, in case you were wondering.)

I will say this, though–I was actually kind of surprised that my purse was under 10 pounds. I realize that 8.2 lbs. is still an atrocious amount of weight to be carrying around on one side of your body, but in all honesty–I thought it would be much worse.

But that’s where the good news ended.

The bad news is that I had to start sifting through little bits and pieces of trash and papers and gum and who-knows-what to try and get to the bottom of what appeared to be nothing less than the bag of Mary Poppins herself.

**Side note: I seriously ALWAYS put off cleaning out my purse because all those little bits of junk really freak me out. I think they’re unbearably disgusting, and I tend to repulse myself as I realize that I’m the sole person to blame.

After everything was visually laid out in front of me, it actually became pretty easy to pare down to the essentials, which for me include:
*keys
*wallet
*checkbook
*glasses
*ibuprofen (I teach 7th graders, remember?)
*my collection of lip colors (because I almost always put it on while I’m on-the-go)
*coupons
*temple cards
*pens
*gum
*headphones

What are the essentials you keep in your purse?

Also, every four months or so, I like to rotate to a different bag. Since I’d been carrying my white one around for that amount of time, I decided to switch over to a slightly smaller one I had in the front closet.

Take a look:

Seriously? I feel like I’ve lost about 10 pounds. (And not just 5.8, thankyouverymuch!)

Hopefully I can keep this up.

This Week’s Quick Stats:
# of Items Tossed/Donated: 5 (if you count all those papers as one thing!)
# of Items Left to Toss/Donate Before Dec. 31st: 373
Amount of Money Spent on Organizing This Week: $0

For next week, I’ve decided to take on:

My Email Inbox & Social Media

I’m taking this one on now partly because I kind of need a smaller task to do considering that I’m wrapping up a very stressful trimester at the school, and I also want to take it on now because my inbox currently has about 300 messages in it that I haven’t filed away, and it’s driving me crazy.

So, without further ado, here is my to-do list for this next week:

Inbox/Social Media To-Do List:
*Go through inbox and delete all emails you no longer need, including ones about events that have already occurred, emails from ex-boyfriends (no idea why I haven’t done that one yet), and emails containing attachments that you already have a copy of on your hard drive.
*Go through your sent box and delete all emails you don’t need a copy of.
*Set up folders in your inbox to sort all the emails that remain (and set up folders anticipating which types of emails you’ll receive in the future)
*Ask to be removed from all lists that you no longer want to subscribe to
*Update your contacts list so that it’s current
*Consolidate all personal email into one account by using an automatic forwarding system
*Review settings on antivirus and spam to assure that it’s currently set at the right level for you
*Update the live feed on your Facebook account so it includes only the kinds of updates that you actually care about
*Delete any friends on Facebook that you no longer are in contact with or no longer wish to be in contact with

Maintenance
Once a Month
*Go through emails, replying to all relevant messages
*Delete all emails that you do not need to keep a copy of
*Clear out your drafts folder

Once Every 3-6 Months
*Clean out your sent box
*Update your personal settings

Once a Year
*Look over and update your contacts list
*Purchase or update any antivirus software you use

*All to-do lists and cleaning suggestions are taken from Jennifer Ford Berry’s book Get Organized. (This is NOT a sponsored project–I just adore the book! I highly recommend buying a copy for yourself. It literally is what inspired this whole project and is worth the money. Click here to check it out.)

I’ll be honest, I’m kind of excited for this one. My inboxes have been driving me crazy for months now.

How do you stay on top of your email? Or do you just let it all pile up in your inbox, like me?

(Oh, and you should go weigh your purse and tell me how many pounds it weighs. I need some comparisons, here!)

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