It’s not that we’re an inherently messy or disorganized people. It’s that we’ve just recently moved into a house with no closet organizers. You probably take for granted the dowels in your closets and shelves in your pantry. Not I. I am ready to run out and buy the most deluxe California Closet organization system–the ones we had originally intended for this house. But, instead, I have a bunch of cardboard boxes and a few willow baskets, and this, my friends, is my office:
I know that I had intended to battle the linen closet today. But, since I tripped on this fire hazard twice on my way out the door, I thought I’d adjust my plans accordingly. Like I said, we’re just moving in … but still. This is my office. I’m an independent contractor. I work from home. I spend more time in here than any other room of this house. So, yesterday, when one of my FB friends offered a free shelving unit to the first interested local, I asked my husband to pull over (from our now infamous coffee run) where I still had cellular service, so I could text an emphatic “YES.” Turns out I was too late … but that didn’t stop her from questioning how I could be acquiring more stuff on my journey to minimize my stuff. Smartly, I replied with a quick “I need a place to store my 99 other things.” It was, afterall, only day two of my new challenge. Cut a girl some slack? But, she’s right … do I really need a closet organization system, or do I just need less stuff to organize? I suppose it is time to face the harsh reality that some of this “stuff” has got to go.
I’ll spare you the details of what I found in each box. Let’s just say … if you’re a yard saler looking for office supplies, or consumer electronics, I’d advise you to stop by.
I did, however, discover an interesting truth about the “stuff” that fills my desk drawers.
Almost every item in this nicely-organized drawer is a tool meant for paper. Binder clips and paper clips. Pens and highlighters. Sticky-arrows and stapler. There was a time that I could not have lived without these highly-evolved tools–necessary for my very survival. You see, I’m a writer. And I learned in the old school … when writing happened on paper. And revising and editing also happened on paper. And then you would mark up your papers with flags and notes, and highlights. And then you’d print out your masterpiece again and continue the vicious cycle of reformation. And then you’d have so many stacks of drafts that you’d have to find these huge binders to keep them from falling off of your desk. Today, I work for the world’s largest software developer. I use all of their software. I’m not actually sure that I’ve used any of the items in this drawer in the last three years. I don’t even know where my printer’s power adapter has landed. And yet, as I look at these tools, my survival instinct kicks in … like fire and water, these seem to be the essential elements of my livelihood.
So, I’ve decided to give it a month. If I do not open the drawer during that month … gone-zo. Every last paperclip.
But until then, I’m looking for a good paper shredder to eliminate the boxes of paperwork that I no longer need in the age of electronic documentation. And while I’m at it, I’m whittling my way down to just the essential reference materials and supplies …