|The desk that inspired it all, not mine it’s Fit Chick’s|
If you came to my kitchen you could open my spice drawer and see bottles alphabetized from Arrowroot to Vanilla Bean. In my refrigerator there’s usually a pitcher of iced tea, another of filtered water, glass containers of prepped vegetables and multiples of staple ingredients. I make a menu over the weekend and cook most nights. Before you get annoyed or think I’m bragging, don’t worry there’s more to this story. Food and nutrition are important to me and I spend time and energy focusing on what my family and I consume. I have a system that works and work to make the system better. Just off of the kitchen is another room; it’s a small room my husband and I use for our home office.
There are two white desks and matching chairs. My husband’s desk is orderly. There are two laptops, framed photos of the children and one of me, a scanner/printer and the most current issue of Golf Digest. Then there’s my desk. Until yesterday, my desk had piles of clippings: recipes, articles to potentially blog about, magazines I hadn’t read yet, food labels, bills, mail, a necklace I had taken off, you get the picture. You actually will not get the picture because I forgot to take a before photo. This room was an anomaly. It was such an eyesore that, when home, I often disconnect my MacBook and move it into the kitchen and work there.
With my children away at camp for another few weeks, I sensed an opportunity and decided to call in a professional. My friend recommended a professional organizer named Kim Parker and gave me Kim’s phone number. When I texted Kim I asked for her website, turns out it’s not up yet. She’s not on twitter either. Hmn, I wondered what my desk would look like if I wasn’t blogging or tweeting but I am so that’s that. Kim arrived and jumped right in. She buttered me up telling me I have “lots of things happening in this space” (no kidding) home stuff, work stuff, running stuff and travel stuff. We got to work purging and the truth is, given the time, I love tossing things. Some Kim wisdom:
- Just because something is good information (handouts from 10 years ago) doesn’t mean you have to keep it, especially if not using it
- If you have cabinet or drawer space you don’t need files on your desk (who knew?)
- When organizing, often things get worse, look worse, before they get better.
- Choose your system, there’s more than one. My husband scans everything. He would have scan-kids and a scan-wife if possible. Kim reassured me paper is a possibility as long as it has a place.
We worked for about four hours and though we’re not done yet. I feel great. I didn’t know how much the disorder was bothering me until we started to clear it. Marc joked “I can’t believe throwing out files put you in such a good mood.” This got me thinking about the carryover effect of organizing. Ironically, I see the reverse effect among my clients. Once food becomes more organized, clients often feel more motivated at work or more balanced when it comes to mood. Freeing yourself from clutter, whether it’s papers, stress or weight – provides you will energy for other pursuits. So now I’m off to make tonight’s ceviche and of course tweet and read some blogs.
What is your clutter area or what do you put off? Do you think it’s unusual to be organized and orderly in one area of your life and chaotic in another? Where are you most and least organized?