28 February, 2011

How do you stay organized?

There are only two reasons I clean my office:
  1.  because although clutter doesn't faze me, I can't stand dirt, and
  2.  when the clutter starts taking over the floorspace, it scares my Golden Retriever. 
This is why every six months or so I have to spend an entire day decluttering my office.  In between, I simply lift up the stacks, dust and vacuum under them, and put them back where they were.  Spotlessly clean chaos.  It drives my neat-freak brother crazy when he visits, but I can always put my hand on just the piece of paper I want, without hesitation. 

This morning we had had once again reached situation critical ,  the point where Clue just stands in the doorway, looking pitiful and whining -- a sure sign I needed to take action.

We're talking about a 10' X 12' room here, not a huge area. Some things have to stay: the desk, computer table, scanner stand, filing cabinet (one drawer dedicated to recipes, the other to expenses and important papers); and three bookcases, two overflowing with cookbooks and the third with my "to be read" piles. Those are a given.

It's the other piles that cause the problem: recipes I might want to try some day; print outs from courses/blogs/websites on writing; scraps of paper, index cards, and notebooks filled with ideas, dialogue and description for future manuscripts; pictures of people -- total strangers -- I might want to base characters on in the future; the pile of "to be shredded" papers (the ones with my SSN/bank account/etc. on them)... well, you get the idea.

Last time I had a clean out day, I bought boxes to sort and store the odds and ends, but by the time I'd read the first three or four, I'd been diverted to doing something else -- like writing a chapter in my book.  The boxes remain empty and the piles remain, well, where ever they were.

I did manage to fill 2 trash bags before I got side tracked this morning.  But then the mailman came with my copy of Shameless Promotion for Brazen Hussies, and it was all down hill from there.

Maybe tomorrow...

So how do you keep your research/notes/thoughts organized?


  1. I don't even try. Once a year I sift down to the bottom layer and throw out anything I haven't read or used. LOL

  2. Is that yours? Looks good to me! For recipes, I use a 3 ring binder. I print them out, punch the holes and put them right in...(or at least that's what I try to do!)