As part of the campaign to clear my head and declutter my life, my mom helped me organize my office. She lives for this kind of thing. We bought a nice, comfy desk chair (the old one was too low for me--it's amazing what a crick you get in your neck when it's craned at even a 60 degree angle for an hour or more while looking at the monitor), a filing cabinet, and folders for organizing my teaching stuff--yay!!!! In case you don't know this, teachers get giddy with excitement at going to any Office Max-type place. We live for it, standing starry-eyed as children in front of a candy store at the sheer variation and volume of pens, dry-erase boards, and organizational files. You give us a choice between a gift certificate to Office Max and one to a nice clothing store, and we'll agonize over which one to choose.
More importantly, Mom helped me purge my old files of about ten years' worth of stuff-I-might-need-or-use-someday. Right. I had notes from college. Old mail. Notebooks from grad school. Receipts. Staff information from two jobs ago. Dried out glue sticks. Student work from 2001. VCR tapes--we don't even have a VCR anymore. Things I didn't even recognize. I did keep some of it, but most went happily into the trash or the recycle bin. See, I'm both a packrat and a piler, which means I have numerous piles of stuff. I am convinced that one day I will go through the pile, pull out the stuff, and use it. This rarely happens. Thus it felt wonderful to unburden myself of years of useless junk and organize what I kept into files and compartments.
I think if I start using the kindergarten mantra of "Everything has a home" and then keep those things in their homes, I may have a lot less stress. Those who know me, of course I'm not going to go all Type-A; it's not who I am. What began in college when my roommates T. and Greenlight finally designated one place only for my constantly missing keys has finally begun to creep into other aspects of my life. For instance, Greenlight, my keys reside in the bowl DH made, in the living room. For others, this idea may seem obvious and simple; for a scatterbrain like me, I have to concentrate on making little changes like this as common as brushing my teeth. It's all part of a revelation I'm having that I'll write about later.
Next stop: The closet. Do I really need the sweater I wore once last winter because I felt guilty about having not worn it the previous year? Probably not.
I'm off--my Six Plus One Traits of Writing book is calling my name from its home on my educational information bookshelf.