Friday, December 28, 2007

Decluttering for the New Year

To be productive as an academic writer, I need all the paper clutter I can see to have solely to do with the project at hand. It also helps if my immediate environment is clean. Since I have become an increasingly disorganized person since Lucas arrived on the scene, I haven't been as intellectually productive as I would like. Having clutter elsewhere in the house doesn't help, either, even if it's not directly in my view.

So I'm cleaning up for the new year. Projects for this week and weekend:

1. Taming the garage. I spent a good chunk of today building a big donation pile in the garage, which makes the garage considerably less scary to walk through. It still needs work, but I'm no longer stressed by its disorder. I have a dozen or so banker's boxes of papers and memorabilia I need to go through, but I now have them stacked in zones where I can tackle them by theme at some future date. In an ideal world, I'd have only 3-4 boxes of memorabilia (photos, letters, various diplomas (I collect degrees!), and whatnot); a box of cleaning products that I store in the garage to keep them away from Lucas; and Luke's old clothes and toys in case we decide to have another child. Mr. Trillwing has an entire side of the garage lined with boxes of comic books, videos, old artwork, photographs, and three shelves of DVDs. He has a lot of stuff, but it seems so much more orderly than mine.

2. Catching up on balancing the checkbook, especially after all that holiday spending. I have a lot of receipts piled up, and I haven't been in the mood to organize my finances. But it must be done. done!

3. Filing. I tend to set papers to be filed under a small table next to my desk. I used to be pretty good about filing them every couple months. I think I have a year's worth of paper sitting there now, and it needs to be organized prior to tax time.

4. Clearing tables. Stuff tends to pile up on the kitchen (craft) table and the dining room (eating) table because in our house, horizontal surfaces attract stuff.

5. Cleaning floors. Ick. Christmas tree needles + cookie crumbs + dog hair. Just ick. done!

6. Taming my closet and dresser. I have too many clothes I don't wear. done!

7. Clearing off my desk.

8. Making a list of goals. I'd like to participate in the 101 things in 1001 days meme, starting on January 1. I like the timeline of 2.75 years instead of tackling individual, ongoing resolutions. done!

How are you preparing for the new year?


Field Notes said...

I feel exactly the same way about clutter and productivity. And dog hair plus needles on the floor - I can't write in those conditions. Impossible.

There has got to be some law of psychophysics that applies to horizontal surface accumulation. Too bad there's no vacuum for that.

Unknown said...

I, too, have decluttering on the list of New Year's resolutions. I've been laid flat with a cold since Christmas, but we did make it to Ikea for some shelves we needed. I've been reading the Unclutterer blog for tips. I need all the tips I can get.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I used to think I could live with clutter, and I can to a certain degree. But since I've had someone coming to clean my house every other week and feel compelled to not let clutter get in the way of her cleaning I've realized how much better I feel when things are neat and tidy.

But horizontal surfaces still attract stuff!

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