Saturday, July 4, 2009

Help me organize my life!

I was reviewing my New Year's resolutions, and I am still not organized.

I am the messiest person in the world. I'm not exaggerating. I am truly disorganized and messy in every single sense of the word. I am a moving tornado, messing up everything I touch. My car is messy, my room is messy, my office is messy - and don't get me started on what it looks like in the tent or hotel room about 30 seconds after I enter. In short, I am a messy messy person and it's driving me insane!

My workshop is only tidy because my mother likes to sneak in there when I'm out and sort everything out! If I move something in my bedroom, everything comes cascading down (I am a charter member of the Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things), and any flat space becomes a storage unit. I am getting more organized mentally with the iPod, but my physical world is just annoying.

I also need to have books around me at all times, just in case I need to grab another one. I have tried putting them in a cupboard, but I can't see them and it drives me nuts. I really don't have that many books - maybe 100 or so - but for some reason, I need to have them live right near me at all times.

And I need to put my crafts near me as well (not the bath & body stuff - those live in the workshop!) because I might be halfway through something when I get another idea and that first thing will languish until I do some cleaning! So I need a place to put my works in progress where I can know they are there and will remember to check. (Yes, I'm hyper and scattered, but I also run various craft groups, so I need to keep trying new things!)

My mother is a master organizer, and I love it when she helps me organize, but I find her ideas don't seem logical to me and I can't get them to work in the long term.

I can't really get a larger space - my room is the size it is - and I don't have that much stuff (okay, except for craft supplies, books, Simpsons figurines, snow globes, and other trinkets from my travels), so getting rid of things would leave me with nothing. We have a number of video game systems and drawers will work for games and accessories, but where to put the drum kit, guitar, and bass for Rock Band.

Yes, this is getting to the point of pathology! I am trying to work on some little habits like putting things back where they belong, and I've started making sure there's a garbage bag in the car, but my room is simply too far gone for these approaches to work well.

I need a philosophy that works and some ideas for storage that aren't a big set of shelves. I know I have to change my mindset, but I'm not sure how to do that, hence this posting.

Does you have any suggestions (other than throw out my stuff or buy some more drawers)? I welcome all ideas!


BubblyGirl said...

Uh, no, no suggestions...

Just reading my own life... XD

I'll keep lurking till someone has a real good philosophy.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Actually, I did some organizing this morning - turns out we had a cabinet we haven't used yet! - and managed to get all my books into one place! Turns out, I do have quite a few books! We are putting up another shelf after lunch, and that should help with the "need a book beside me" part of things.

I'm still trying to figure out where to keep my works in progress in my room, but I've put all the sewing into a cute bag and I'm working on the beads...that's going to take a while.

I'm still on a quest for a philosophy - I might be tidy today, but I have to get my mind around actually keeping it that way!

BubblyGirl said...

Good for you! I'm sure there is no cabinet that isn't used.
But I have an used room! How is that?
I'll keep you posted!

Christine said...

Hi Susan,
I feel for you as I've been battling this same problem and like you, am trying to organize my books,supplies,and a million other things i need to make my life easier.

I've started with building shelves on the wall above my computer which houses the reference books i need at hand.

I use folders marked with bold texta on the subject eg, SOAPMAKING and within that folder subfolders. I keep the A4 pages in plastic sleeves. The folders are above me in my new shelving unit so I can pop up from my chair and computer screen and grab them down instead of sifting through mountains of paperwork to find 1 sheet! (OMG you could hear me scream next door!)
For paperwork that you need to juggle between and often, I have a rack that sits on the wall almost like a magazine rack that has 6 compartments, In each one I have used an A4 piece of cardboard and in bold texta written the topic,craft,or whatever and I use that for easier's like a current filing system that hasn't been filed away into my folders, and cannot be filed because i'm still referencing info from them! phewwww!

I have designated cupboards, even using part of a linen press to keep supplies in and although I'm too busy and scattered to have everything in it's designated SPOT it's OK I have learnt that my problem lies in having too many projects going at the same time and too little room to accomodate.
If i can at least have my paperwork in partitioned folders,my books above my computer,my craft stuff,ingredients,etc in designated cupboard,shelves,etc it doesn't matter as much if i don't have specific spots for every single item. I can at least know that if i need soaping ingredients it will be in x cupboard or if i need a current particular info sheet it will be in my magazine type rack etc etc.

Having used this method has unstressed me by 50% and I've noticed that i feel more in control(it's nice to at least have things in their right area, even if they're not always put back in the same spot)That will be my next step at a time! lol

P.S. Don't be too hard on yourself otherwise it's more work! ;-)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the advice, Christine! We did work on the workshop yesterday, and we've done some of what you've suggested.

I always have my bath & body stuff so neatly organized - there are sections on the computer, binders with plastic covers in the back, a special book just for mineral make up - and I have a ton of binders I keep meaning to fill with important stuff that needs to get done. That's going to be this week's work!

I have set up a system with bins - oils, surfactants, butters, conditioners and emulsifiers, salts, and speciality things. I've even got a bin for new ingredients I need to try! Oh, and an entire cabinet (not a huge one) just for fragrance and essential oils. I'm still having trouble finding a good place for jugs, cups, funnels, spatulae, etc. and don't get me started on bottles!

There's still more to do, but it will get done in time now that I'm feeling less frantic!

I think a huge part of the problem is trying to live up to my mom's standards. She could find the only piece of dust in a sterile operating room! She is a very organized, very tidy woman, and it's a priority for her. I have never made cleaning a priority in my life - there are so many other interesting things to do in a day - and that's one of the reasons I'm so messy.

I have to figure out a way to make cleaning at least on my top 10 list of things to do in a day...but I kinda don't want to! (Remember when you were a kid and when you said you were bored your mom responded with "You could clean your room?") I need to figure out a way to want to...or maybe I'm seeking the impossible?

Thanks for the suggestions!