January

13

My Organizing Projects

Getting Things Done Over My Christmas

Entering into my Christmas break, I had a few organizing goals in mind. Every time I opened my office closet, I was annoyed at looking at a mess and having items in the wrong spot. I had things at waist and eye level that should have been put way up high out of the way. And I had things way up high that should have been more accessible. So that was my first project to tackle. One day I tore it apart, pulled items out, rearranged what as on shelving, threw out old things, donated a few items to Goodwill and finally made my husband face two of his items stashed inside. He had an old game cube video gaming system and a DVD player.

My second organizing project on the to do list was my filing cabinet.  I do this every year around this time so I knew it was coming. I shredded about 10 inches of paper, recycled one whole drawer full of paper. My four drawer filing cabinet has been reduced to three drawers. I tried to be as ruthless as possible and really made an effort to think through each file I kept. These were the questions I asked myself:

Can I find this somewhere else?

Have I looked at this over the last year?

What will be the ramifications if I get rid of this?

Do I need this to support my tax return?

My offsite backup hard drive for my computer really put my mind at ease. I was able to shred a lot of old client files because all my client information is now computerized. There was no reason to keep old paper files. These papers were once so precious to me, but now with a backup service I don’t have to worry when I throw them out. Updating old file names, was also part of the process. I had let this go for a few years, so it was time to get the printable labels out and do some updating. It’s a lot easier to file and find paper when it has the right label on it. Doing taxes for 2010 will go a lot smoother. 

And finally my photo boxes were screaming at me- clean me out! My husband and I love to travel and I usually create scrapbooks of our trips so many of the photos didn’t make the cut in my scrapbooks. Many were also duplicates. I love to travel so this was a bit hard to just pitch photos. Every time I second guessed myself, I said to myself Amber you have beautiful scrapbooks with the best of the best photos, let these go. That’s what helped me pitch them. On top of travel photos, I had a lot of loose photos that spanned the last eighteen years and lots of photos given to me by my two sisters of my nephews and neice. So I spread out on the living room floor and grouped photos as best as possible. Then I grabbed my photo books. Some were full and others half full. Instead of stressing out to put photos away perfectly, I aimed for just putting photos away as best as possible in the least amount of time. Sometimes it’s just better to get the job done, instead of getting the job done perfectly. At least all the photos are safe in books and I have one less photo box on my office shelf. 

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