I have been cleaning up my office and looking for important pieces of paper that I'll need to file my 2020 taxes. I have an aversion to filing that comes from my orientation as a visual person. Once I file something, it literally ceases to exist for me.
You can see my problem.
A few years ago, with the help of a professional organizer, I set up a visual system to manage my files and never-ending explosion of paper. It works . . . up to a point. I have a large cabinet in my office area with open cubicles, some of them labeled, where I toss my important papers. Then I rummage through the cubicles when I need to find one of those papers. What I'm looking for often ends up not in the cubicle labeled for that exact item. My system works . . . up to a point.
And that is just with physical files - digital files are another story entirely. Digitally I am more organized with many digital folders and lists that keep my online world functioning.
But my digital system has its own Achilles heel.
The digital world expands as much as I need it to. So where I de-clutter in my physical world, my digital world just keeps getting bigger and I never seem to go back and delete the files and folders no longer needed. I only add to what is already there and I am rapidly reaching my point of overwhelm when I have to do endless scrolling just to get to a folder I need.
De-cluttering your physical and digital worlds is an important part of becoming clear and of being able to focus on what is truly important to you. It is part of the spiritual process of manifestation. You clear space to let in something new. And that is true whether what is cluttering your life is in your closet, your office, or in your computer. And to clear space you have to know where things are.
When I used to travel for long periods of time in my corporate job, I would take my few pieces of good jewelry and hide them somewhere in my apartment, just in case someone broke in while I was away. Usually it would take me a few weeks once I returned home to find where I hid my stuff. It turns out I was great at hiding my stuff from myself. I'm sure burglars would have found my stuff in no time.
Hence the need for knowing where things are. I have to acknowledge and thank my cousin Helene for the inspiration and title of this week's newsletter. Like me, Helene is a visually oriented person. In her attempts to organize her physical space, she created a digital folder titled WHERE THINGS ARE.
A great idea! Finally, a place to put a list of all the stuff that you are trying to keep track of that you might not be able to find. Unfortunately, for Helene, when she went to look in her WHERE THINGS ARE folder to find something important, it was empty. For Helene, and clearly for me as well, where things are remains a mystery.
This week I received a shipment of little tags that you can put on your keys, your glasses or anything that you have a tendency to put down and lose. With these magical little tags, I can track them with my phone. If only I knew where my phone was right now. This is the reason I keep my landline - so I can call my cell phone when it wanders away.
Spring is almost upon us - the perfect time to solve the mystery of where things are and to make space for more things just waiting to arrive. I'd love to hear some of your stories and any fabulous ideas to help me better organize my space. Remember . . .
“You don’t have to face every skeleton in your closet before you can make some room in there!” ~~Carmen Klassen, Love Your Clutter Away
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