Organization and why I’ve been saying I’ll get my $#!& together my whole life.

I had a half-finished post about why I got rid of my Netflix account written out, but it got far too emotional. Allow me to summarize: I had Netflix, I let my now-ex boyfriend use it. We broke up a few weeks ago. I didn’t want him using my Netflix. Instead of simply changing the password I decided, why bother at all? Phew, an extra $9 staying put in my account. The end.

But I will talk today about why I am perpetually disorganized and what I’m trying to do about it.

I’m a disorganized person. I can try to argue otherwise, but one look at my work desk, what’s under my work desk, the mess in my car, the mess in my trunk, the disarray that is my cupboards, and you will know it. It’s not about being clean — I’m actually quite tidy and never leave my bathroom grungy for too long or leave the apartment without making my bed. But I’ve simply never had those essential organization skills. Time management is one thing (I’m decent at that), but spatial management is another.

I never leave the house with fewer than two bags. My backpack is always bursting at the seams. I pack heavy for weekends away even though I wish I didn’t. I just can’t understand why it’s so easy for some people to cram only a few things into their bag and get through the weekend as well as I can, while I need to have the whole world with me and still end up forgetting something (most often my contact lens case).

I have identified a few bad habits that I know are the cause:

  • I have to have my computer with me way too much, for things like referencing recipes (I have a terrible memory) or typing random things. Yes, I ignore the fact that I have a tablet most days.
  • I own too many “little” things that are actually not that little. One bottle of soap for the gym might not seem like a big deal. One bottle of soap, one of shampoo, one of face wash? You’d be surprised how quickly that fattens up my bag.
  • If I’m given space, I will fill it. When my mother got me a gift for my first apartment — a headboard that is also a shelf — I had no little “trinkets” to put on it. Now, I have a collection of utterly useless things, old DVD cases, charging cables and hair elastics (I don’t even have hair that can fit in a ponytail anymore!) littering the thing.

But I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with my older friends (it’s amazing, when you start working in an office, the friends you make who are a few decades older than you and you don’t even notice). And I’ve noticed how calm I feel in their homes because they’re so organized. And it’s been enough of a motivation to try to look at why I am so disorganized — really, really look at it — and do something about it.

Here are a few things I’m planning on trying. I’ll definitely be posting progress as the days and weeks go by.

Short-term goals:

  1. Clean my car. My car is full of crap that I simply have never bothered to bring inside because my arms are usually too full with my million bags. I’m planning on gutting a decent amount of trash out of it on my lunch break today, and then over the next few times bringing all the other things inside. Yes, I need two days for this.
  2. Get rid of my clothes. I’d actually planned when I moved to Scarborough to get rid of a good number of my clothes, but I delayed myself too much by asking, “Who should I give them to? Where should I donate? What should I put the clothes in?” I’m going out for drinks with an old friend on Thursday night, so I will be downtown. Goal is by then to have a box of clothes in my car ready to drop off at a Value Village or Goodwill. Wish me luck.
  3. Consolidate my kitchen cupboards. Self-explanatory.

Long-term goals:

  1. Buy fewer Things. I own a lot of little things — I’ll buy lip balm because even though I have some at home, I don’t have any on me. I’ll accidentally buy two of the same thing. I have four tubes of mascara on the go because I was just too damn tempted. I have a small list of things I’ve identified as Things (I will not be sharing said list) that I am not allowing myself to buy for at least one year or until I am flat out of them (I’d hope the latter comes first)!
  2. Get rid of some of my “storage” items. I own a lot of little baskets and bowls and organizers which simply get junk piled into them. There is absolutely no point to any of these things other than collecting junk. When I know these are available, I avoid putting my junk away and collect more junk.
  3. Stop thinking of organizing as a big event. My Mom always used to say “set aside one day a week when you clean and tidy everything.” I’ve accepted that perhaps she can do it that way, I cannot. I have to clean and organize as I go or I will never do it and the act will seem too big for me. For example, at Thanksgiving, I was adamant about cleaning my dishes right away (because ew!), but was too tired to tidy up the other things and took an “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude (I immaturely blame my now-ex boyfriend, who does tend to take a “leave it for tomorrow” attitude). The blue plastic tablecloth is still sitting on my dining room table, which is still in the extended, jumbo format. It looks terrible! I need to do things right away, not put them off.
  4. Use my tablet more. My laptop is portable, but my tablet is more portable. My laptop is developing a slew of little problems that can only come from being four years old anyway, whereas my tablet is still a babe in arms. It occupies less space, is less heavy and, quite frankly, is more fun. I will be investing in a flexible Bluetooth keyboard for the thing, though.
  5. Power through and finish things. Many of my messes come from my lack of ability to finish things, and always finding an excuse for such. I had a light and photo display I wanted to erect in my apartment which I stopped halfway through because I foresaw myself running out of supplies. Now the photos are sitting on my piano and the display is looking half-finished.

You know, I thought around while looking at this thinking, “There should be more. Getting organized is far harder and more complicated than this. After all, I’ve tried and failed countless times.”

I’m starting to see that it’s easier than I am willing to admit. So I’m starting on these today. I might add a silent 6), which is “Bug my roommate to be more organized.” He’s actually not terrible, but sometimes doesn’t apply common sense to things. Anyhoo, no one to enlist help from but myself at this point. I’m sure all of you are eagerly awaiting my results.


About breerodymantha

Proud Canadian. Long arms. Tiny head. Big dreams. CBC. Longboards. Bicycles. Upper Jarvis. Ballet. Acrobatics. Top-roping. Stemming. Smearing. Lip balm. Early mornings. Double-layered socks. Tea time.
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