Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2006 - organising challenges

I decided to post the organising challenge so that it's easy to reference and stay up to date. I will edit my post every week and write a little bit about each week's challenge, like I've already done for week 1.

Enjoy - each challenge won't take more than 15 minutes, or definitely 30 minutes if you're the type that loses focus quickly :)

Week 1 - Organise your sock and underwear drawer.
Throw out all those socks from 5 years ago that have seen better days. Any stretched, ill-fitting or plain ugly underwear must go. Treat yourself and go get some new things. You can still feel pretty (or handsome) underneath all your winter woollies. Use the bottoms of cereal boxes to partition your drawer and keep items neat.

Week 2 - Clear off the front of your refrigerator & tidy your spices and condiments.
Do you really need to have 50 magnets on your fridge? Many times a cluttered fridge makes the whole kitchen feel disorganised and out of sorts. Clear everything off and start with a fresh slate. Now put back only those things that you love or add value to your life - photos of loved ones, shopping list, menu for week, etc.
Throw out your spices if you've had them for longer than a year or two. Dried herbs lose their flavour after a year.

Week 3 - Organise your CD and DVD collection.
First off, go through all and decide if you still want to hold onto them. When was the last time you listened to or watched them? Has your taste changed? Are you hanging onto something because Aunty Mary gave it to you and you feel guilty giving it away?
Now, put them in whichever order you like – I do my CDs first by group, and then in chronological order. There is no right way – you need to organise according to how your mind works.
Lastly, pack them neatly in a CD holder, storage box or on a shelf. (Clicks has some lovely storage boxes for R29,99 that hold CDs, videos, photos, etc.)

Week 4 - Clear your desk by sorting out all physical and e-mail.
This week's challenge is two-fold - it's your desk at work AND at home. If you don't have a proper desk at home, it's the place where you dump your mail and all your papers! Now you know what I'm talking about!
1. Take a plastic bag and throw away anything that doesn't belong - old cups from the vending machine, bits of notepaper, all used envelopes, junk mail ads, pens that don't work, etc.
2. You should only be left with proper mail - bills to be paid, magazine subscriptions, letters and cards (does anyone still write real letters these days? On a nostalgic note, when I was at university, my friend Melody and I used to buy sheets of 100 stamps at the post office every couple of months!).
3. Diarise when you will pay the accounts and file any old, paid accounts.
4. Now for the email, delete, delete, delete. That is, delete anything you've already actioned, forwarded or read that you don't have to keep for reference. My goal is to delete about 200 emails daily - easy on a Monday when all my newsletters arrive, but it forces me to go through old folders daily towards the end of the week. What will your goal be?
5. Now, file the rest in your action, to read, and personal folders until your inbox is empty.

I read something really cool the other day. Do you ever get home, take the mail from the letterbox, read through it all and then take it back to the letterbox? No, of course not. However, most people treat their inbox like this! They read the email and leave it right there in the inbox. Just something to think about!