Posts Tagged ‘organizing’

Positive Shrinkage

August 26, 2013

Sunday August 25th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’m still working hard every day at purging myself of clutter. I have been spending a lot of time sorting through my mountain of junk in the last few weeks hoping to shrink it to less than a mole hill. If I have my way, I’ll be able to move at any time in one car load and still have room to pick up hitch hikers. Possessions mean less and less, and the less I have the more my mind stays free.

   Today I spent about six hours going through big piles, shrinking them into smaller piles. I have finally started to see at least a little progress, and that’s encouraging. Nothing is more frustrating than working several hours and not having it look like I did anything at all. Today I made a dent.

    Even after unloading several carloads of books in the last few weeks, I still have enough left to open a small used book store somewhere. I’d still like to trim my inventory by at least half, but it feels great to have come this far. It’s under control, and I can continue to unload them gradually.

    I also have all my clothes clean and in proper order. Every pair of socks I own is matched and in ‘sock ball’ form so I don’t have to try and match them five minutes before I need to leave for a show. The last thing I need is to be playing a game of ‘Concentration’ when I’m running behind.

   I’ve also got my paperwork sorted into categories, and that was probably the hardest job. After all the times I’ve moved, I have accumulated boxes of paperwork from receipts to comedy notes to articles I’ve saved to phone numbers of people all over the country. I have to go through every last scrap to see if I need it or not, and that takes a lot of time. I am finally to the point of sanity.

   There’s still a lot to sort through and organize, but at least they’re in the correct pile. I’ll throw a lot more out as I go, but I feel a lot better because I’ve unloaded all kinds of stuff I won’t need anymore. I’m caught up. If 1997 ever comes back I might be screwed, but I’ll take my chances.

   What got me going is my roommate politely asked me to straighten up my area because she has a cleaning person come in once a month and wants her to do the once over. I’d totally let my area get out of control, and I needed a kick in the ass to motivate me. Deadlines can be very effective.

   It can be a vicious cycle with keeping one’s living space organized. I’m so busy out and about with all I’ve got going, the last thing I want to do when I get home is clean or sort. I want to rest or get caught up with my emails or phone calls or anything other than sorting socks or old books.

   My roommate is a total sweetheart, and I’m very lucky to be living here. It’s a beautiful house in a really nice area, and she has worked unbelievably hard to get it. She worked her way through college and has a great job and works hard there too. She’s a super mom to her sons besides that, and one of those things isn’t easy much less all of them. I greatly respect her and all she’s done.

   I would never do anything to intentionally upset the apple cart, and it’s the right thing to do to keep my area organized. It took a lot of work to get it this far, so hopefully that will keep it from sliding back to where it was. The more I unload, the less chance there will be of that happening.

Balance Is A Bitch

February 18, 2010

Wednesday February 17th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

It finally feels like I’m starting to make some measurable progress clearing off the huge pile of backed up tasks I set out to do at the beginning of the year. Valentine’s Day is past and time is rounding the corner to my birthday. If I keep it up, I’ll be in full stride by then.

All those quips and slogans motivational speakers use are true, no matter how cliché all of it is. Thoughts ARE things, and inch by inch it IS a cinch. We DO become what we put in our minds, and without goals nothing can be achieved. The hard part is taking action.

I spent most of today sorting through the scattered pile of confusion I’ve allowed to get completely out of control. Books and clothing and scraps of paper with comedy notes and phone numbers and receipts and anything else imaginable are laying around like a tornado went through, and there’s no excuse for it. Yes, I’ve been busy, but this is not acceptable.

I’ve never been a neat freak, but I’m not Oscar Madison either. You wouldn’t know that by walking through the clutter where I live, and it’s to the point of no return. I have to get organized very soon or I’ll never be able to get anything done. It‘s to the boiling point.

I really do have all kinds of things going on, and a lot of them are good, but if I can’t get myself into some sort of order I’ll lose whatever positive momentum I do have. This is an inner tweak which is manifesting itself outwardly and I’m just not going to let it continue.

One thing for sure is that my grandfather was SO right when he used to talk about how the most difficult thing in life to achieve was balance. He said it was even more difficult than getting rich, because many who did get rich sacrificed a lot of other things to do it.

Being balanced in all areas of life is the ultimate challenge. Has anyone done it? I used to think Tiger Woods was pretty close, but then he had his little fender bender and all that ended. Who else is close? Bill Gates? Oprah Winfrey? I guess I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are some people who have found a way to balance.

Extreme wealth isn’t necessary, but some degree of it is. Also, physical health, a family, creativity, continuing education, a chance to give back and all kinds of other things are on that list. Who has time to do all of it? How about even some of it? Most of us stumble our way through life, maybe focusing on a few things we do well because it strokes our ego.

How about taking time to really work at what we’re not good at? That takes total guts to even try, but I totally want to do it. If I never get rich or famous but continue to grow for a lifetime, does that make me a failure or a success? It depends who’s asked on what day.

I’d love to have it all, but is it in the cards? Is it even possible? I don’t know, but I put a full day’s work in today and in the short run it meant nothing. In the long run, if I keep up daily improvement I’ll be a much better me in not that long of time. I‘m seeking balance.