Sunday, February 04, 2007

Project Organization - Part 1 - My House

I have made it a resolution to get my life under control. Things are just completely out of whack!! My house is a disaster and I have way too much stuff. My schedule is chaotic. I am always forgetting to do really important things!!!

Join me as I begin Project Organization. Starting with my bedroom and kitchen, I am going to gain some peace in my life and chronicling the whole experience online. I will be searching for systems, life-hacks, and ways of organizing that will let me get, and then stay, organized.

I challenge anyone who feels the chaos building around them to join me. I will share my story and struggles here at Fearful Symmetry. Feel free to join the conversation and leave comments.

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life
Beginnings
I started my journey towards organization by taking everything out of my bedroom.I was going to start by focusing on two areas: my kitchen and my bedroom. Every item that was in my room that wasn't too large, I put into my living room which I am using as a holding area for all my unsorted stuff. Then I took the time to reorganize my bedroom furniture to a layout that was a little more useful and fresh.

Then I tackled my kitchen. With the help of a friend, the kitchen got clean and trash/recycle got sorted. For the first time in months, I now have a perfectly clean kitchen!! I highly recommend getting a friend to help you clean. It is funner and easier to clean with a partner. (And it goes faster!) My cleaning friend and I made a deal to help each other clean our apartments.

So now my room looks bare and my kitchen is usable. Now onto the heftier stuff...

Systems
Before I could start bringing stuff back into my room, I had to set up a couple systems in order to contain my stuff. For this, I turned to David Allen's book Getting Things Done. The first is a reference system. David Allen suggests using a simple alphabetical filing system. He recommended using manila folders without the hanging folders, but since I own a large deep file cabinet made for hanging folders, I decided to just not use manila folders and just use the hanging ones. I bought 50 hanging folders to start. (David suggests starting with 100 in the book). I also bought a new cartridge for my labeler so that I could have very neat folder tabs. I only put tabs on the center of the folders so that they would be neat in my drawer and I would not have to worry about placing a new folder in between two existing ones and messing with the tabs.

Another system that I set up is my tickler file. I use a 4 X 6 index card box for my tickler with Jan-Dec dividers and 1-31 dividers. I set them up so that there is a spot for every day. And the numbers already used for this month, just go after the next month's divider. Here is a picture of how the dividers are suppose to look:

I also bought myself 4X6 index cards that I can make lists on. Each card is a context for Next Actions or a category list (such as Projects and Waiting on). Now I am ready to begin the sorting.

Processing
I started with the drawers to my Elfa cabinet (which I had taken out of the frame and put in the living room), so that I could get the drawers free to hold other stuff. I began by taking out one item from the first drawer. For each item, I would go through the GTD workflow diagram (From How to Save the World) with one modification. I added "Memory Box" to the list of things to do with a non-actionable item. I have a lot of souvenirs that I don't want to get rid of but which are cluttering my life. I don't want to trash them, or do anything about them in the future, or have them cluttering my reference cabinet, so they get a sturdy plastic box to be put in. In the end, this box will be going into my living room closet.

Most of the stuff that I got through today was reference material that didn't need an action and therefore got filed away. But I did find one thing to do in less then two minutes (I did it) and a couple things to put as next actions. My friend that I mentioned earlier sorted through my living room, so now even that looks doable. In the week to come, I will be sorting through more and more and running everything through the workflow diagram. Soon enough my house will be under my control once again. That will be a fine thing indeed. :-)

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1 comments:

bed said...

One of the most important items in a bedroom is furniture. Bedroom furniture usually consists of the cot where the bed is usually kept. Other important items include a lampshade that one might find useful for reading in bed Similarly the bed should consist two sets of bed and pillowcases. If necessary you may have a mattress. Many of the bedrooms also have a full sized mirror. Antique Bedroom Furniture http://antique-bedroom-furniture.blogspot.com

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