Sep 9, 2009

People who are organized are just too lazy to search for things!

Well this has been my motto for a long time…but I have decided that I need to make some drastic changes. After getting rid of lots of junk at a yard sale now I have to get the things I kept organized because frankly I just don’t have the time to look for things anymore!
So I have researched this a bit and here are some things I have discovered. Maybe you will relate to this and maybe not, if not your already an organized person, good for you!
This surprised me; “Studies show that 80 percent of what we use comes from 20 percent of what we own“. That means that 80 percent of the things in our homes are RARELY or never used!

I made a list of what my lack of organization has caused me in the past.
1. I have spent too much time looking for things I have misplaced, and that time could be used to paint! Also this has caused me a lot of stress when I can’t find important things! (The poltergeist took them!) That was always a good excuse!
2. I have missed important deadlines…..simply because I didn’t have it written down someplace.
3. I have had trouble prioritizing because I can’t clearly identify what I need to do.
4. I can’t think clearly if I have so much clutter around me, so sometimes I do not get anything done!
5. I have wasted money buying duplicates of things I have already purchased, yes I have a few books, audio books and art supplies that I just had to have only to find I already had them!
6. I have been working in a cramped space when in reality I have a nice big office and studio but with all the things that need to be organized all around me I feel like I can’t move!
7. I have important things fall through the cracks!
So I am going to start…….
Looking at all the paperwork I have collected over the last 30 years is a bit daunting. However, if I start out slowly I may possibly be able to get this done. I need a plan of how I am going to get going so here is some ideas I think may work.
I am going to start out slowly; I know that there is no way I will be able to get this done in one day. I am going to do a little bit each day so I won’t get tired and discouraged. The task will be less overwhelming if I break the project into small chunks of time.

I am going to start with all the paperwork I have. Sheets and sheets of lessons and instructions from my days of teaching have been taking up space for too long. Some of them I cannot part with so this may be a bit of a trial. I am going to start with my files, one stack at a time. I am going to ask myself “Do I really need this, will I use it?” If so the files will go into the” keep” box. If not they go into the round file! Once this is done I will place all of the ones I want to keep into manila files and put them in alphabetical order in my file cabinet.
Next I have to sort through hundreds of art books and magazines. I have quite a collection, but am I going to use them at any time in the future? Now this is where I do have some real dilemmas, if I get rid of them and my granddaughters want to paint some day they would be great for them, but what if they never do? Should I keep them or throw them out. After some consideration I think I will take one day to go through them and tear out the most useful and best articles and file them under their category. That way I will keep what is really the most important to me and get rid of lots of articles that are only taking up space.
I am going to organize bookcases by placing similar materials together.
Now that all of my paper work is filed away I need to address the top of my desk, and table tops where I paint and surrounding areas. This is where I have had trouble, things just sort of pile up and before long I don’t have one square inch to put a bottle of paint on! I find myself painting in a tiny little space!!!
I think the secret here is that I need to keep things I use frequently close to where I work. Things I use rarely need to be stored farther away. The things I use only once in a blue moon should either be thrown out or stored far, far way in another room which would be the best place. Right now as it is I have things on the tables around my easel that I have not used for years… that is just plain obtuse.

Next on the list is to go through my paints, why is it that when I need a certain color I pick up the bottle only to find it empty and then put it back in the rack? I am scratching my head on this one?
I am going to get rid of the empty bottles and make a list of what colors I am out of and replace them with new bottles…what a treat!

Now that I will have all the paints up to date, I have to face the “Brushes”, OK I will admit that I do have a problem, I cannot throw a brush away. I have brushes from the 70’s! Some of them are not even good for cleaning the grout in my shower but for some reason I just don’t seem to be able to toss them. I know I have to do this insurmountable task. It is just plain bizarre to keep these.
I will label everything, binders, mementos photos, etc.
Next I am going to round up all the warranty and instruction manuals for everything in my house; I can’t tell you how many times I have spent precious time searching for these.

So now when all of this is done I need to have a plan to keep it this way. Here are my ideas on how to do this; I pray that I can keep it up!
Each day I will spend 15 minutes just cleaning clutter that has accumulated to prevent getting back into the same rut.
I will refuse to let anything to start piling up, it is so easy to just stick something here or there instead of putting it away, but I know that if I don’t follow this rule I am sunk.
I am going to buy a big calendar where I can list things I have to do each day.
As soon as I get a new magazine, I am going to take the articles I really love and want to keep, file them and then toss the magazine.
Say "No" more often. The best way to get off-track is to say "Yes" to every request I get.
I won’t buy anything unless I have a place to put it.
I am going to schedule several appointments for the same day instead of spreading them throughout the week. This will give me more time to paint and will reduce travel time. If I leave the house for an appointment my whole day is done, I usually won’t come home and start painting.
I think that keeping a pair of scissors near where I read newspapers and magazines will really be helpful.I can easily clip those articles I wish to save.
I am going to keep only one project or file open on my desk at any time. There have been times I thought I lost something only to find it in another file. Can you feel the stress!!!!!
When I am unsure about what to do with a document, I am going to ask myself what I would do with this if I had to move in a week.
At the end of the day, I am going to clear the top of my work areas, putting everything in its place. The next morning I will be welcomed by a clean, organized studio or office.
In doing all of this I hope to enjoy a more spacious, attractive and comfortable working environment. A better organized studio or office will almost always look like you have more room be even if you don't eliminate anything!
Hopefully I will quickly find what I am looking for instead of wasting time, be better able to keep up with my workload because I will be more productive. Maybe it will help unlock my creativity giving me more emotional energy. I will feel better about myself a cluttered, disorganized studio or office is not the image I want for myself plus it makes me crazy~
So I am going to give it a try and keep my fingers crossed. This time next month I am going to be a super organized lady! You Betcha~
Sharon Teal-Coray

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