Friday, January 29, 2010

I cleaned my desk, and it made all the difference.

I have to tell you, I took the chance to prioritize cleaning my office today and it has made all the difference, as our friend Robert Frost likes to say. I asked a student helper (imagine that!) to help me file all of my random college brochures, so I can actually find the one I'm looking for when meeting with a student. Then I went through my ridiculous in/out box which was permanently "in" and filed everything that needed filing...same with my desktop filing rack. I even made a new system, where current project documents are near at hand.

At the end of the day, I was still 8 interview evaluations behind, but for some reason I felt on top of the world. I was all, well what do I do now?! And, it was easy to see what needed to be done. And it didn't even feel overwhelming. Awesome.

Before and after:
Isn't that calming? If I wasn't so damn intimidated by what's left on my list for the weekend, I'd feel really great. I really want to meet my goal of completely de-cluttering everything in my life in January. But you know what? I think I'm going to take a page from my friends at the AimingLow blog and be a little more realistic. Especially since I "wasted" the first week of January and got a late start. I've really gotten a lot done in the 3 weeks we've been playing this game, and I need to focus on that. So here's the revised list for the weekend:
  1. The back room/office, which includes fixing up the closet (tearing down shelves, getting rid of shoes I don't wear, installing more clothes hanging space and a light), organizing Michael's clothes, the giant bookcase, glass working materials, my "memory stuff", and two desks.
  2. Getting all the documentation ready for tax lady. Unfortunately, this will require a bit of pixie dust as I actually sent the only copy of my mass return in to the state last year and as such don't seem to have a copy to give tax lady. oops.
OPTIONAL (but don't tell Michael)
I can always keep these on the back burner to do at some point...maybe over summer, when we're not on duty and have more free time.
  1. The storage closet at the end of the hall...where we store all things we might need to access fairly easily. Ugh. It's very full. I think I can talk Michael into taking this on.
  2. The basement. This is where we put the stuff that was in storage in the condo when we sold it. It's not stuff we need to access often, but we weren't ready to get rid of it. There are boxes of books involved. Double Ugh.
  3. My car. In my trunk alone, there are rollerblades (just in case), a jump starter that's not charged (oops), lots of motor oil, a fire extinguisher that the pin has been pulled on (oops. what do I do with this? Can you put the pin back in--if I find it??), and lots more crap. It needs to get minimized and organized.
  4. Ordering the pics to go in the frames
So, all right. It's not SO bad if I focus on what really needs to be done instead of everything that possibly could get done. Maybe we'll start a new trend!

You know--intimacy and connection month might be a lot more fun to focus on than de-cluttering. =) Though I really wonder if the results will feel as satisfying and rewarding. And if not--what in holy hell does THAT say about me?!?

Oh--Michael earned a bonus this quarter at work (you go, baby!), so we decided to celebrate by trying an Argentinian Steakhouse in Arlington that got rave reviews on yelp. I figured Arlington+Somerville could definitely count for fun new ventures in the city for January. But when we got there, we realized we'd actually been there before. But that was okay, it was still pretty delicious. Michael had carpaccio and I had tasty squash soup, and then we both had seriously tasty chimichurri-seasoned skirt steaks. It was really flavorful, and so big that I couldn't consider dessert.

Which is saying something!

That's it for today. Even though I took a 2 hour nap after work, I'm totally beat. The raw cold has spurred some serious coughing fits today. Even I thought I might cough up a lung. Michael was so worried about me that he actually dropped me off at the door to the dorm rather than have me walk the whole 30 feet from the parking lot. (How much do we love him?!) So now...a hot bath, some cold ice cream, my Oprah magazine (from last May--mothers talk to teen daughters about sex!)...and my chamomile pillow mist.

Wish me luck for the FINAL battle in the war against clutter.


SLawlor said...

Wow Missy - those before and after pix are really inspiring. Eric and I are moving tomorrow and I'm considering putting our lives' stuff back together with some Container Store magic. :) Getting my desk to look and stay like that is my dream!

Melisa K. said...

We are kindred spirits, S. I kept staring at those pictures with this self-satisfied, inspired grin and I tried to get Michael in on the action, and he was just like "yeah, it doesn't really do anything for me." To which I replied, "that's just SO crazy to me." To which he gave me a look that said, clearly, I was the crazy one. =)

Seriously, though. After I cleaned it, I thought to myself "Well no wonder I was so overwhelmed. Who could get anything done at a desk like that?!"

Anyway, good luck with the move. Moving sucks, but it is a great opportunity for de-cluttering and organizing. I love container store, but it is a bit expensive. You could probably do nearly as well at Target. When you're unpacking, you can put systems that make sense in place! good luck!

gina said...

Still think a Boston outing needs to happen. Let's plan one!