Friday, March 9, 2012

Clutter bug

I've been seeing so many articles lately about clutter, I'm beginning to think the Universe is trying to throw me hints. Yes, I suffer from clutter. Everywhere. It's definitely not feng shui around here. I think I need one of these mouse pads!

There are piles of magazines atop notebooks atop more magazines and books in my bedroom. My office is worse - papers mixed in with notebooks of all sizes, more magazines and flyers and oo! I just found one from Dickinson College advertising their Spring events, and Jennifer Egan is reading on April 4! *marking calendar now before I forget again!*

So I am living proof that going paperless only creates more paper! I do have old crits, research and contracts filed by story in binders, but what is all this other scrap paper lying around? I don't know, but I should find out before I end up tossing it en masse into the trash and later regretting it.

The Kaizen Plan blog recommends finding the root cause of the clutter so you'll know how to attack it. Good advice, but I need to figure out how to extrapolate the bathroom example to my office. :)

Oprah also recently attacked the clutter issue, and asked readers to identify what type of clutterer they were so they'd know how to attack the problem. I unfortunately fit four of the five profiles. (I am not a bargain shopper aka hoarder. One point in my favor.) Of course, defining the clutter by "style" only makes it seem fashionable, and it's anything but stylish to view.

I think my biggest problem is writing myself notes, and never cleaning out those notepads. And never actually filing any of the papers I have lying around in the file drawer sitting right beside my desk. The clutter usually rises above the bottom of the monitor screen before I can't stand it and move things.

Aside from a bonfire, any advice on how to deal with clutter?

And by the way, whatever you do, don't open that closet door. Thanks. :)


Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I don't have much of a problem with clutter, but I do know people that do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I might not put something away right that moment, but i can't stand clutter. Every so often, I go through and toss stuff.

Maria Zannini said...

Paper clutter is my only problem area. Everything else is pretty organized.

But...every time I start a new project, I clean off my desk, review my little notes and discard or store everything until my desk is clear.

My desk might not be clean all the time, but it gets a facelift regularly.

Cate Masters said...

Share your secrets, Michael - do you keep all-virtual records?

Good strategy, Alex. I can't stand it either, but usually I relegate it to background scenery. :)

If I weren't so fearful of a simultaneous hard drive and backup crash I'd go completely virtual, Maria. I'm a weenie.

Fairday Morrow said...

I am pretty good with keeping my clutter contained. I love to trhow things away that I don't need. My big problem is all my electronic files. There seem to be millions of them! I need a day- or two- or five to organize them all! Good lcuk!


Cate Masters said...

I'm fearful of a hard drive crash. I don't back up often enough! Otherwise, my electronic files are organized fairly well.