Organization

Organizing My Life, One Project At A Time

desktop-of-beauty 1

Did you see that photo?

That’s my desktop!

Really!

And did you see there are just two, itty bitty little blue folders in the right bottom corner?

Yes. TWO.

This is the “after” shot of last night’s computer cleaning efforts. I didn’t have it in me to take a screen shot of the “before.” It was not a sight for the weak of heart.

But you can easily imagine it.

My desktop was littered with icons. There were so many of them, there were icons on top of icons. And oh my, when I went to find something, I had better set aside a large chunk of time because it was going to take awhile to wade through the mess. And, then, by the time I did find what I was looking for, well, to say I was totally aggravated, is a nice way to describe my feelings.

Aggravated at myself for making such a mess.

And when trying to do a creative project, aggravated is not the best state to be in.

So yesterday, New Year’s Eve, I did two of my favorite things, simultaneously, and together they inspired me, inspired my year. They gave me a big project and trust me, Charlotte likes projects.

2013 is going to be a good year!

What did I do you might be asking?

Well, I will tell you what I did…

I sat by the fire with a notebook and pen and thought about time.

I thought about the gift of time we all have been given.

I thought about where I was and where I wanted to be next December 31.

I thought about what I wanted to accomplish with the chunk of time we call 2013.

And by the time the fire was burned out I was ignited by tons of ideas.

But first, before I go any further, it’s the time in the post where I must make a confession. Here it goes…

I am calmer, happier, when my life is orderly.

There. I said it.

Yeah. I can do spontaneous. Maybe even as well as most people. But see, what I like is having my life predictable in as many ways as I can because then I am freer for the unexpected.

For ease of explanation let me give you an example…

When all my meals are planned for the week and groceries for those meals are purchased, then, if an unexpected event should take me away for the afternoon, say a buddy calls and says, “Hey, you want to meet me at the airport and go flying?” I can go, have fun, and when I get home, everything is in place for me to pick back up and I don’t skip a beat.

I like that.

Okay, back to me sitting in front of the fireplace. So what did I do next?

I popped right out of my fireplace-sitting chair and I began my project to organize every inch of my living space. I mean, once you know what you want to do, why wait to do it, right?

Where did I go first?

To my computer of course. After all, I spend HOURS on my computer. Yup, you read that right, hours, and I am tired of a cluttered desktop and files full of junk I haven’t used in forever.

Fueled by my mission, methodically I opened every file and most of what I found in those files, I trashed.

Yeah, I took great pleasure dragging tons of stuff to that little garbage can in my dock.

It feels so good to get rid of stuff I don’t use.

Does it feel good to you?

Then, after several hours, before me was a thing of beauty… a desktop with just two folders.

Two folders hold my computer life.

One folder is labeled L&I. This blog.

L&I

The other is labeled Personal. The rest of my life.

Personal

So that’s it.

At the stroke of midnight I had my first organizing project of the year done. And I was exactly where I wanted to be.

Now, onto my sock drawer.

What do you want to accomplish this year?

To get inspired, check out The Daily Post here

Postscript: It is with a nod to an observant reader who pointed out my messy dock, (the horror) I am adding a screenshot of my new and even cleaner desktop. 12 dock icons… down from 27! Thank you, thank you!

Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 12.21.42 PM

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35 thoughts on “Organizing My Life, One Project At A Time

  1. As a geek, I gotta ask: Those icons on the very bottom are in your startup menu. They run processes all the time. Do you need all of them running at once? Also, where’d you get the cool moon screensaver?

    Good job on cleaning it up. I need to clean my stove today. It’s awful!

    • Thank you so much for pointing out the error of my ways. How very negligent of me to completely overlook the dock!!! Immediately upon reading your comment did I go and correct my oversight and have added to the post a new screenshot of my even sleeker desktop!!! :-)

      As I thank you, here is the link to the NASA page where I found my image. There are so many awesome images it can be rather hard to choose.

      http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html

      And finally, the stove. The stove. Ugh, I think when it comes time to clean the stove it might just be easier to buy a new one! I wish you luck, and less expense, on your day’s cleaning endeavor.

      Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by. :-)

      • I have a cool new image for my ipad screens! Thanks! And the stove, eh, my Scarlett O’Hara theory of work management kicked in …”tomorrow is another day.”

      • With oven cleaning I can totally understand your procrastination. You could Scarlett O’Hara it or use my favorite line and Mammy it… “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout cleanin’ ovens!” :-)

  2. “…what I like is having my life predictable in as many ways as I can because then I am freer for the unexpected” – absolutely makes sense to me. Congratulations for cleaning the desktop! I spend a lot of time organizing photos, esp. the ones that are all mixed up and duplicated on the ext. hard drive because hey weren’t saved thoughtfully. And – May Your Socks Match Up Like Romeo & Juliet…no, um, May Your Socks Match Like Pancakes and Syrup!

    • Thanks! And I totally understand about the photos. When we had film, and our photos were developed, (remember those days?) I used to be SO GOOD about immediately putting the photos in the album. What is it about digital photos that they are so easily neglected??? I too have been through the external hard drive and those in iPhoto and organized them into several categories and deleted hundreds of dups and “what was I thinking when I took a photo of that?” photos. And thanks for the sock well-wishes. I suddenly have a craving for Shakespeare and pancakes! Happy New Year :-)

  3. When I saw the word “Organizing” I knew I had to pop in to visit! I love your new desktop and had to share. My wallpaper is Pieter Breugle the Elder’s “Triump of Death” with all the icons hidden.

    Seeing your dramatic and spare wallpaper made me think of wish fulfilment. Do you long for bare space and simplicity? Our home is quite austere, mostly for my husband and son. I secretly long to cram empty spaces with art. I fancy Flemish painters since I can look at each work forever!

    I would like to follow your example and organize myself better. In many ways, every minute is selected and scheduled, yet I still can’t get dinner cooked more than twice a week!

    Happy New Year!
    Lori

    • Well of course I had to google Pieter Bruegle the Elder and read about him and view some of his work as I am not too strong on 16th century Flemish painters. But now I am! Lori, I can see his influence in your art. I really can. Thanks for sharing. And yes, I love order. I love the motto, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” My goal is to open each and every closet and see organized, clutter free shelves, with just what I need on them and no more. I have found when I have so much stuff I don’t know what I have and well, what’s the point of having it if I don’t even know I do!

      That said, I do however love having colorful artwork on my walls and I will need to add on to my house to hang anything else! I have surrounded my space with pieces my kids and my friends have made. My artwork and my books are my treasures. They are like having love on my walls and I can’t imagine having to ever part from them.

      This life of ours is a process and each day we work on improving the process. That’s all we really can do. Maybe this year it will be dinner for you three times a week!

      Happy New Year to you too. Always wonderful to hear from you!

  4. Congratulations I did the same with 4 email accounts (amirhbahati.wordpress.com). And like you have already done, I will be organizing my desktop and computer files. Nice post. Happy New Year!

    • Ah, great minds think a like! I got my email account cleaned up too. Good grief it’s so easy to get behind. Now you got me thinking about another account, gotta clean up that one too! UGH, the organizing never ends! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Both are appreciated! :-)

    • Oh girl, be ready for more vicarious pleasure because I have gone organization crazy. Together we can conquer the crap that clutters our computers and cramps our closets! We shall live by the motto and rejoice, “A place for everything, and everything in its place!” :-)

  5. First. You brave, brave soul. I envy your desktop and its pristine and zen-like calm. Mine is still in your ‘before state’. I may be inspired here…

    Second, commendations! I completely agree. Order brings clarity, calm, insight, empowerment.

    You are starting the new year off right, and I think, without meaning to, you’re rustling up a posse of West-Side-Storyish, finger-snapping, anti-disorganizationistas ;)

    • “you’re rustling up a posse of West-Side-Storyish, finger-snapping, anti-disorganizationistas”

      Oh I can picture it. I can. And the image is clear and it is wonderful. A chorus of us, dancing with garbage bags full of discarded stuff, while singing songs with lyrics praising the love of organization, and instead of rumbles with switchblades, we pull out catalogs from The Container Store! Oh, this comment of yours is just about THE FUNNIEST ONE EVER! Thank you! Thank you for such a whimsical imagination and for coming to my blog and sharing it with me. You have made me smile. You have made me laugh. You have made me so very happy that I want to sing and dance and well, go to The Container Store. Wanna come? :-)

      • I will absolutely come along! I will snap with one hand and wield my crutch threateningly at clutter with the other. And I will bring along a sub-posse of my Chinese students to snap and carry containers for me since I’ve run out of hands.

        Any ideas for the gang name? One syllable. “When you’re a ____, you’re a ____.”

      • Oopsie, I fell asleep from so much organizing before I could get back to you last night! Love the crutches and the Chinese sub-posse, the inclusion of real multi-ethnic and disabled groups seems to embrace diversity in a way that wasn’t done when WSS came out 50+ years ago. After all, organizing is the ultimate equal opportunity endeavor. EVERYONE can organize! And thus, should be appropriately portrayed as such. Now, the gang names… after showing Neal your first comment he started going around the house saying the “anal retentives” and the “slobs”. Those were just his first thoughts, and I fell asleep so I wasn’t much help at all. Will ponder…

      • Well, yes, and not only organizing as a unifying force, but music as well! This group is going to be tight.

        The name… Yes, there is some pressure there. It has to make sense, it has to sound good when chanted and sung, it has to be easy enough for people of different native tongues to pronounce.

        My first inclination was to play on the word ‘mob’ and go with ‘the Mops’, but I neither want to imply organized crime nor that we’re maids. This is going to take some thought, indeed…

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  7. Oh, it does feel good to be organized doesn’t it?! I think you have become the envy of a lot of people out here in the blogging world! I am determined to organize my photos this year! It was my project for last year, but I gave up on it about half way through the year. I don’t consider myself to be anal, but it sure does feel good to have everything in its place! Hope you have a great year! I’m looking forward to hearing more good things!

    • Go Becky! Get those photos organized! Think how good you will feel when it is done, not to mention the opportunity to revisit many fun times! Do it a bit at a time and then one day soon it will be done! I have been a wild woman these past few days. I have been repeating my mantra, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” I am ruthless!!! :-) Thanks for the wishes for a good year… I hope the same for you as well! :-)

    • Thanks! And this is just the beginning! I am going to do the whole house. Seriously. And you know when I get ready to do something, I do it! Now, let’s talk YOUR house! :-)

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  9. I wish I could do the same, be extremely cruel and get rid of all the icons littering my Mac screen, but alas! I am that “weak of heart” you mentioned. For some reason, I like an interrupted view of the blue space that is my screen saver….^_^

    • Your comment made me laugh and I thank you for that! One day, perhaps you will wake up in an unusually ruthless mood and venture forth and eliminate icons, but then again, those icons know you better and they may feel safe exactly where they are! :-)

    • WOW! You got some good help with those sites… you are destined for organizational Nirvana I have no doubt! Thanks for stopping by and for the comment! You can do it, I know you can! :-)

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