My Organizing Journey

My Ability To Grow Garbage

My Ability To Grow Garbage

For my husband, Andrew, and I, it was love at first click. We met over the internet (Yahoo chat room to be specific) that launched a long distance relationship that lasted several months. Within a couple of years of moving in with him we were married, and the rest, as they say, is marital bliss.

So how does my ability to accumulate an overflowing trash can fit into all of this? Let me explain: one of the best aspects of being long distance in the beginning of our relationship was it forced us to really get to know each other. We would spend hours on the computer, or talking on the phone about pretty much any topic we wanted. One night the conversation evolved into home decorating and our respective “dream” kitchens. I think the question went something like, “if you could have any luxury appliance in your kitchen, what would it be?” To be honest, I don’t remember what his answer was, but we both remember my answer: a trash compactor.

Now by this stage in our relationship, I am not sure how much Drew knew about how much I love organizing. If he had been to my apartment by that point he would have seen that I am a very tidy person. But it wasn’t until I visited his house, which was, let’s just say in a bachelor state of less-tidiness that he learned what my need for clean really was.

Ideas for Long Term Project Goal Management

Ideas for Long Term Project Goal Management

Do you have a 5-year plan? I don’t. I find planning for 5 years from now a little daunting to think about. But as I’ve gotten older, time seems to pass by incredibly fast. Somehow when I entered into my mid-30s and early 40s, the months started to speed by and the years blurred together. This has motivated me to re-think my need for some long term goal planning structure, and address my challenges with it. And hopefully, to set my self up for some success.

The first thing to I had to think about is how I wanted to record my goals: on paper, or on the computer. I’ll be honest, I have a mix of both.

I’ve created some spreadsheets and calendars that I save on my computer, and only refer to occasionally. But for my day-to-day and month-a-glance planning I use a spiral paper daily planner. And lists. I have lots of lists. I’ve tried various online apps, even the very popular ones like Evernote and Trello, and for me, they just ended up being more work to manage than they were worth.

The Key To Keeping My Garage Clean

The Key To Keeping My Garage Clean

Who would have thought that by cleaning the outside of my washer and dryer that it would help me keep my garage clean? Certainly not me. Certainly not my husband who wondered if my OCD had kicked into a totally new gear when he watched me clean them. Fact is, if I had known that the  magic formula to keeping my garage tidy starts with two glowing white appliances, I would have picked up my bottle of Simple Green many messy garages ago.

But I didn't. And that was then, and this is now. And as is with my general philosophy in life, learn better, do better.

You might remember a few months back I wrote about how I finally managed to clean my garage after many months of defeat, and the victory felt soooo good. I knew I had won the battle, but I also knew that it would take several weeks, and even months to pass before I would know if I had really won the war. Well I am happy (and proud) to report that my garage is still clean!!! Nothing has managed to get piled up, all the tools are in their proper places, and the whole space fills me with a sense of serenity and not stress-- for as much as a garage can really be serene.

A Tough Challenge: Keeping Garages Tidy

A Tough Challenge: Keeping Garages Tidy

Almost every day I take my Golden Retriever, Alton, for a walk, and inevitably I pass by at least one house that has their garage door open. I’m not really proud to admit this, but I can’t help but look inside. I don’t go up driveways or invasively invade privacy (they left their door open after all). I just scan the contents quickly as Alton and I go by.

As a person who strives to live an organized life and who flirts with minimalism, I can’t hep but be curious about how people are filling )(or not filling+) the roughly 400 square feet of space that is a part of their home. Most garages, I would say at least half, are used purely as storage spaces. Here in California the climate is such that parking your car in the garage isn’t a neccessitiy. Drew and I don’t park our cars in our garage.

So that leaves two categories remaining, really. Non-car garages that are well organized. And non-car garages that are just piles and piles of hot mess. Tidy garages utilize storage shelving, wall to wall cabinets, tool organizers and vertical storage solutions like bike racks, etc. The hot messes are just a mass of stuff in what seems to be very random chaos, stacked high, sometimes in unmarked boxes, with barely a square inch of floor to be seen, to say anything of a discernable walking path.

I Love Organizing-- Just Not Other People's Stuff

I Love Organizing-- Just Not Other People's Stuff

Nine years ago, shortly after moving to California, I made my initial venture into entrepreneurship by launching my own organizing business, Simply Sort. Inspired by clutter-busting shows like TLC's Clean Sweep, and those similar, I thought, "I have good ideas. I've helped friends and family. How hard could it be?"

Well, as I discovered, while it wasn't necessarily hard, it was by no means easy. Not that launching one's own business is ever easy. After all, I believe anything really worth doing, should have some hardness to it. With Simply Sort, it wasn't that I was afraid of the hard work, but rather, the work itself turned out not be what I assumed it would be. I learned to "fail fast" as the pros would say. Which for me, was a success all on its own.