I love to categorize, sort and label–give me some containers and a label maker and I will swoon. Lists are my lifeline to serenity and I become giddy when making them.
Organization, for me, is a meditation, a creative outlet–a way to refocus and bring calm to myself and my surroundings. Sometimes in the thick of it I can find myself overwhelmed, but it all settles out in the end, and then I can step back and take in the beauty and calm of this one organized area of my life ignoring all the other clutter that surrounds me.
I organize everything that I can. I recently organized our travel and camping gear. I sorted and sold unused items, pulled out the label maker and marked boxes and shelves so the rest of the family would know where things went and hopefully would return things to the proper place when the time came. The latter is more of a Christmas miracle sort of wish, but a guy can dream. When Apple came up with the folders feature for organizing apps on the iPhone, I did a little dance, I was that excited. Everything should have a home. My socks have their homes, athletic socks in one drawer, wool and dress socks in two other containers. I organize my fedoras by hanging them from most worn to least worn. With a change in season comes a change in the order they are hung. I organize the writing in my pocket notebooks with symbols so I know what the entries are about at a quick glance. When a notebook is filled, the creative thoughts (marked with an exclamation point) go into a list in Evernote, separated into categories, and then the notebook gets a number and a label and is put into the old card catalog.
Color-coding is the flare of organization and as soon as it seemed reasonable, I color-coded the family. Everyone has a color for the calendar and I color-code the boys’ stuff as well, using different colored tape. This makes it much easier as no one has to hunt for a name; we just look at the colors. I color-code my writing process. I’d color-code everything, but that can quickly take me into the realm of chaos which is not where I want to be.
A few summers ago I went a bit Lego crazy and wandered the countryside buying up Legos at yard sales. Then I had to buy plastic tubs to put all the Legos in. My writing desk is actually located in a room full of Legos, I’d love to have a nice reading chair in here but there is no space; it’s all Legos. The Dollar Store is a great resource for things to organize, not the maybe-it’s-a-dollar store, but the dollar store where everything is actually a dollar. One day while wandering the cluttered aisles, I came across cafeteria trays. I got a few different colors and they work great for a Lego project because you can organize the pieces you need. Brilliant!
Just writing this piece has made we want to organize. I am not sure I can think of a better way to spend a stormy day or any day other than sorting, organizing and making lists.