Well, here I am: a little more than halfway through this “50 Weeks to Organized” business and wondering how much real progress has been made.
I have learned an important lesson about decluttering this week though: I’ve learned that I can’t let “perfect” be the enemy of the “good enough for now.” When I started this project, I was determined that I would be perfect in fully decluttering my entire life—nothing would be allowed to stay that wasn’t absolutely necessary or that didn’t bring me the utmost happiness, and those beloved few things that were left would be displayed and organized immaculately.
Well, I’ve definitely realized that THAT is just not going to happen for awhile.
Let me illustrate: this week, I have spent at least an hour on most days methodically working my way through our spare bedroom, which has become our dumping ground for everything we don’t know what to do with. You wanna know my biggest problem right now?
I STILL don’t know what to do with most of it.
I learned to just crack down on some things, like getting rid of all my half-used school notebooks (unless they had original writing in them, in which case I’d tear those pages out and recycle the rest). I’ve been keeping these notebooks for years because I just plain felt guilty not using every single little scrap of paper in them, but when I looked around and saw perhaps 30 notebooks scattered about that I realistically was probably not going to use again…well, it got easier after that. (It also gets easier to toss stuff at 2:30 in the morning when you can’t sleep, apparently.)
But getting to my main point about not letting the perfect get in the way of the good enough for now, I’ve encountered scads of papers, cards, letters, and various mementos that I just don’t want to part with. I keep thinking that I need to save them all for that “someday” when I decide to magically take up scrapbooking. However, since that day is clearly not coming anytime soon, I just decided to go with a “good enough for now” method = haphazardly placing them all into page protectors in a 3″ binder that wasn’t being used for anything else. Is it ideal? No. Would it have been better if I’d gone through and organized them all by date and theme and event? Yes.
But the fact is, if I lose my focus on decluttering to start taking on projects like that, I will absolutely never get done, and I will still miserably be kicking my way through clutter for the rest of time.
Wow, THAT was a tangent.
Anyway, this week, I officially got our desk organized to the point where it’s “good enough for now” so my mind can be freed up to focus on the rest of that horrendous room.
So, without further tangents:
I’m sure it’s painfully clear that we don’t actually USE this desk for, well, anything other than holding clutter (please tell me we’re not the only ones!). But, if I discover that now that it’s cleaned off, we STILL don’t use it, then I’m getting rid of it.
No use having furniture that’s not doing its job.
To-Do List for the Desk:
*Take everything off of the surface of the desk and out of the drawers
*Dust the desktop completely
*Replace only those items you really need or want on a desk: a lamp, pens, a clock, etc.
*As far as decorative items go, limit yourself to just a piece or two that you find inspiring, and get rid of the rest (or put it elsewhere, where it can be more appreciated)
*Everything that’s left needs to be divided into categories: One, stuff that belongs IN the desk; Two, stuff that belongs in the general house but not in the desk (this will probably create multiple piles); Three, things that need to be tossed; Four, things that need to be donated; Five, things that need to be returned to their rightful owners.
*Deal with each pile immediately (if you’re having a hard time deciding if an item is worth keeping, ask yourself a few questions: is it useful? Do I absolutely LOVE it? If my house were burning down, would I honestly even remember that I owned this?)
*Designate each drawer for a specific type of item. For example, our new drawer system is this: top drawer is for blank note cards and batteries, middle drawer is for blank notebooks, bottom drawer is for craft supplies, and the shallow drawer is for basic office supplies, such as paper clips, post-it notes, etc.
And, voilà! You have yourself a desk you might actually want to work at.
Like I said, the desk is on a trial run right now, but now that I’m looking at it again—I actually kinda like it.
This Week’s Quick Stats:
# of Items Tossed/Donated: Honestly, I stopped counting this week. But I’ll lowball it and say 35.
# of Items Left to Toss/Donate Before Dec. 31st: 200
Amount of Money Spent This Week on Organizing: $0
Do you have a desk at home? Do you actually use it?