An Organized Life

GOGOBEAR ACTIVATE:  This is the first of the GOGOBEAR goals to be written.  It will probably be the easiest to write and think about, but the reality of life suggests that it might have the greatest utility in the end.

Organization is something I think about a lot.  How things should go so I can find them.  My brain likes to organize things to help me calm down.  Once I sorted two entire bags of Starburst jelly beans (full pound bags) into piles of individual colors.  Mostly I am not that ridiculously meticulous.  I don’t want/need things to be perfect, I prefer utility to order.  Mostly I am happy when I have places where things go. But I also acknowledge that I am the walking embodiment of the second law of thermodynamics (that things around me gradually decline into disorder).  The dog (with any paper products), the cats (with anything fragile or full or liquid on a high surface), and Katie (with anything and everything) are also big fans of entropy.   Couple that with the crashing together of two households, the influx of kiddo accoutrements, moving twice in two years, and the fact that both Sara and I have no Spartan sentiments in terms of our stuff.  It means there exists lots of disorganization at any one moment.  Sometimes it is hard to think about all my stuff, especially in terms of keep or discard.  Things get stuck in nooks and crannies of our house. The best we can hope for many times is that we keep it away in closets and the garage and avoid the appearance of junkiness.

This is not a new problem for me.  On more than one occasion, my sixth grade teacher upended my desk, shaking its contents to the floor while the class watched.  Alas, she did not find that missing homework assignment (as I am sure it was sitting at home completed and unturned in); she found an assortment of random things in random order, now strewn about the floor.  But those incidents taught me some valuable lessons.  1) It is possible for a teacher (or other authority figure) to be an asshole, and that I should be on the lookout for them. 2) Sometimes a radical reorganization helps to increase clarity and productivity. 3) Looking at my belonging strewn out in front of me helps to quickly identify what the important items are, like a threshing floor separates the wheat from the chaff.  5) My definition of organized/disorganized is different from others, but I still need to know where shit is.

Organization is a good place to start.  It doesn’t require much long term thinking and it is easily broken in to smaller, simple tasks.  What are my goals for an organized life:

  • To reduce the amount of useless stuff
  • To ensure that the remaining good stuff is where I can find it when I need it
  • To store stuff so that it remains optimally functional.
  • Have things on shelves or put away.
  • To have everything arranged so that it is conducive to moving.

For me the best way to start to tackle these goals are fractional, spatial, and temporal thinking.  In other words, break the stuff into different categories, figure out where each group of stuff should be ideally stored, and identify the priority/importance of these tasks.

If you would like to continue reading the specifics of how I’m going to try to organize my life follow the link: An Organized Life

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