Thursday, January 10, 2008


I'm a very organized person. Or, at least, I think most of my friends would classify me as such. However, I feel like a moderately messy person. (Perhaps "organized" and "messy" are overlapping categories.) I'm relatively neat. I can keep the piles to a minimum, but I'd rather not have any piles at all. It's just—there's all this uncategorizable stuff that keeps showing up at my doorstep. Lists of Library of Congress "free" concerts, plays in the neighborhood, coupons, other notices of interest, etc. I have a system for the bills—everything is filed (another issue: how long do you keep copies of all the bills?)—but I can't keep track of everything else in a reasonable way. At work, I have scraps of paper floating around my desk with notes to myself about music I like or places I want to visit in DC. I should transfer this information somewhere where it will be handy and easy to retrieve and hard to forget, but where?

I don't use an electronic planner. I use a paper agenda for time-sensitive planning and it works very well for me. Someday, I may get an iPhone, but not someday soon and probably never.

I can't use something like google calendar because it's blocked at work. I do have an ipod and I guess I could put my notes on the computer and get the computer to synch to the ipod and store the notes there. But would I remember to look at them?

It's those smaller, optional, non-time-sensitive difficult to categorize things I have a problem with.

The junk paper flowing into my house is a big issue but I think the solution would be to have a little more non-dining-room-table surface area to work with, which I might achieve by clearing out some of the bookshelves in the dining room. What? You don't have bookcases in your dining room? Why not?

Also, I have friends who have lovely well-designed spaces in their homes and I want them to come over and tell me what to do with my place. I wonder if something better could be achieved with a rearrangement of what I own now rather than buying lots of new stuff.

The other night, I went to my first knitting get together and it was a lot of fun. Actually, this was my second…but it was much better than the first. No crazy ladies at this one. After, I was invited to one woman's house for birthday pie. Yum. I was blown away by the design of her (and her partner's) place. A great mix of contemporary architecture and '60s modern furniture. I have some similar pieces in my place (mostly hidden in the bedroom) but I don't come close to matching their economy of style. Mostly, I couldn't do it—I'm much too messy and paper ridden. They also didn't have a tv, which helped and cut down on the space needed for electronic equipment (I didn't see a stereo either, but it was probably tiny and tucked away somewhere). No tv is not an option for me…but the flat screen of my dreams would sure streamline the looks of my living room.

It made me think that there has to be a way for me to get a handle on the surfaces in my place. I know part of it is dealing with things immediately, and I'm not good at that, but things also need to have a place. Finding that place is a challenge.

Grateful for: what organization I have.

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