All posts filed under: Organization

Space

When it comes to organization, space is essential. I mean space in the same way that the artist refers to white space. I’ve never thought of it this way before, but organizing a home could be⁠—at the risk of sounding extreme⁠—like curating a museum. There are probably people who would abhor this idea and have flashbacks to their childhood parlor or receiving room where nothing was to be touched. These spaces were sterile and unused. Instead, I’d like a home where I use every room, and I want each room to be filled with furniture and decor that is both functional and comfortable. So, maybe something a less cluttered IKEA than a museum—much less cluttered. Speaking of IKEA, space is at a premium in that store, while museums are intentionally open. I can have openness in a home where space is at a premium as long as I live with less. The key to my organization system is owning what will fit within my four walls (multiplied by the number of rooms in my house). …

Expiration

In my household, there’s a big basket full of remedies for common ailments (Aspirin, antacids, etc.) and another one that my wife uses for baking supplies. In the pantry, there are more storage boxes. There are even a few bins in the fridge. The exception may be our spices, which we keep on a lazy Susan. Almost everything in these baskets and boxes (and the lazy Susan for that matter) has an expiration date. And the only way I’ve found to make sure that the containers remain uncluttered is to check the dates on an, at least, semi-routine basis. I do that by creating an event on my calendar that prompts me to check the dates every two or three months. Otherwise, my household winds up with a lot of spoiled food and medicines that have lost their efficacy. When I get that calendar reminder, I find that it’s also a good time to do a deep clean of the fridge, which shouldn’t require excessive effort because I also try to discard food that’s past …

Shoes

To cut down on clutter and to keep things simple, I chose some time ago to limit myself to shoes that were (predominantly) one color. My choice was black since black shoes were what I already wore most often. Despite these efforts, I still have nine pairs of shoes. This may not seem excessive for one person, but here’s how it breaks down: Casual Sneakers – I wear my casual sneakers with jeans and khakis. Sometimes to work or while lifting weights. Running Shoes – My running shoes are on my feet on cardio days (in the gym or otherwise). Casual Oxfords – I wear these shoes to work during the spring and summer. Leather Boots – Boots go to work during the winter and fall. Dress Shoes – I also have a pair of dress shoes for the rare occasion when I need to wear a suit or want to wear something more formal than my oxfords. Sandals – I was a bit of a river rat in my youth, so rafting sandals keep …

Apps

I only keep apps that I use. And I keep those apps all in one folder on my phone. That folder is aptly labeled “Apps.” Admittedly, that’s a bit on the nose, but I couldn’t think of anything better. Collecting phone apps I don’t use frequently is not something I like to do. So, periodically, I search through them and decide whether or not I need them all. Then, I trash them. (I should note that it aggravates that my phone doesn’t allow me to delete all of its apps.) When it comes to displaying applications, I oscillate between form and function. I know someone who goes so far as to color coordinate his apps, arranging them in a rainbow-like pattern. That’s just about as form as it gets. I tend to put my most frequently used apps on the front pane and arrange the rest alphabetically. It’s an attempt at function, but it’s not ideal. When I delete an app, the others can no longer be found via rote memory. I may not have …

Phone

My phone had fewer pictures on it before my daughter was born. If I took a photo, I typically uploaded it to the cloud later that day. But for the first few months of my child’s life, I was taking pictures every day. So, I needed to have an organization method for my images. I decided I’d upload to the cloud every few months and remove all but the photos I’d selected as favorites. That way, I’d have pictures to show someone who feigns interest and is willing to humor a new dad… or genuinely loves babies. My phone has plenty of space, but I tend to treat it like my computer. I don’t want it to be cluttered. So, I view my apps through this lens. Periodically, I’ll go through them and delete the ones I’m not using anymore. I also avoid keeping apps on my phone’s background. Instead, I put them all in a folder beside my calendar, the call button, and my text app at the bottom of the screen. The most …

Computer

I keep my computer desktop clean. By doing so, I’m treating it like I would my actual desk. My office desk has a lamp, a coaster, and my computer sitting on it. Of course, there are times when there are other things on my desk, like a pair of headphones, keys, or a wallet. But my baseline helps me avoid clutter. When it comes to computer organization, I’ve read that keeping files off the desktop can help with RAM. However, with the amount of RAM available with even the base level laptops these days that may no longer be the case. So, I keep my desktop clean because everything on my computer has a place. If it doesn’t, I delete it. I don’t look at a hard drive with a terabyte of space and think it gives me a license to store everything possible. I select the pictures I want to keep and discard the rest. I do the same with documents. The only thing I’m a little more liberal with is video footage. It …

Time

I tend to believe there’s not enough time in a day. I’m not always right about things, but, in this case, I’m sure I am. There’s not enough time to pursue all of my interests. I have a full-time job, and I write. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else. I’ve made writing a priority because becoming a full-time writer is my main goal. I’ve made that my goal because writing gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Therefore, I make time for it even though I have a full-time job. Figuring out what to give your time to is not always a straightforward process. But because time is a finite resource, being decisive is important. Once you know what you want–whether it’s a hobby or a new career–a few things are required: discipline, organization, and routine. (Some may claim they need a muse, but I tend to avoid giving inspiration over to the mystical.) Consider learning to play piano for a moment. Unless you’re a virtuoso, you’ll need to spend time learning how …

Missing Keys

I’m not someone who loses his keys often, but it’s happened enough that I’ve decided to settle on one place to keep them. A hook in my kitchen, to be specific. If I’m completely honest, I’d say that I like having a specific place for all my possessions. And this notion brings to mind a familiar saying of Benjamin Franklin: “A place for everything, everything in its place.” (Speaking of Franklin, he was an early influence on my writing.) Whereas being tidy is essential, I believe there are other reasons to keep things in their place. Having a place for my keys, tools, or just a roll of masking tape, leads to efficiency in terms of putting these items to use. It might seem a little obsessive-compulsive, but for me, it’s more a type of situational awareness. The main difference is that I’m not aiming to survive an emergency. Instead, I’m just trying to be a successful decision-maker. There are reasons I wouldn’t want to fail, right? And decision fatigue can happen, especially after a …