How does one stay motivated to be organised? I’ve been asking that question for a few years now. I am managing to keep a fairly orderly life, but only just. Years ago I was an organisational tsunami. But lately I have realised I need to start simplifying my life, especially the things we have stored in cupboards. From time to time, I still have moments of clarity as with my kitchen drawers:
Okay. So I seem a bit OCD.
That all happened three and a half years ago with the kitchen renovation. Since then they have worked perfectly and stayed completely organised and easy, and I can see that I need the rest of the house to work as well as that. It’s easier than wasting time looking for things, or having to move clutter when dusting. And I’m lazy. I like easy.
I’ve chosen to start with my print photo collection. It was out of control. The digital photos are somewhat organised, the old print photos accumulated from family and friends over a period of 20 years… that is another story. They occupy two shoe boxes, multiple envelopes and an RM Williams boot box. They do not take up a vast amount of space in the grand scheme of things, but they are valuable, and they are useless in their current state. I think micro changes are the most difficult to organise for, and why a person loses track. You wake up and look at a very cluttered shelf or table top one morning and think ‘God, how did that happen?’
My very smart husband told me a few months ago, if ever you decide to file or organise the photos (I was complaining I couldn’t find a particular photo, I think…) do it by years. Based on his extensive study, using library resources, he says people usually remember things based on a timeline. Brilliant.
I determined while the laundry renovations were proceeding would be a good time to work on this project. I have a ‘thing’ about having workmen in the house… I don’t leave them unsupervised for long periods of time. Even when they are jack-hammering…much as I would love to escape. This house has too many nasty surprises. Renovation work on an owner/builder house –for which you were not the owner/builder– is too full of idiosyncrasies for comfort. (Check back, about a week from now, when the project should be finished)
So I ‘hang’… which is different than ‘hover’. I appear to be busy while they are appearing to be busy… a skill I perfected when our daughter was a teen, and was temporarily replaced by an alien being, and wanted nothing to do with me. One keeps one’s ears wide open, even if one’s face is directed elsewhere!
Where did I get the inspiration to get organised? Partly out of necessity, but the following two links helped as well, if you are interested. (http://bemorewithless.com/archives/ and http://www.oprah.com/home/Declutter-Tips-Organizing-Strategies ). While the workers are using their phones, talking about what to do, having morning tea, and, oh yes, working… I am sorting photos and making files. At first I sorted about a third of the photos just to see how it went. What I had, was a surprise. Most of the photos were taken in certain years and there were a few years with almost no photos. So I decided to label the files in five-year increments. There may eventually have to have sub-files, as there are a lot of photos for some years.
While my husband was correct about how people normally think of events, he did not account for the fact that at least half the photos have no years or dates on them. Ugh. I have newly developed love for dates and labels on photos, and new skills for estimating those without dates…based on hairstyles (especially my own), or, the shoulder pad situation. But beyond that, a five year spread in the file means I have five chances to approximate the year correctly. This will, hopefully, make things easier to find … when I am searching for photos to blog for you.