May 2, 2011

A Little Help From My Friends

I wonder if there is a gene for organization?

If so, I don't have it.

I WANT to be organized.  But I think, when it comes to organizing, I have ADHD.

Here's what happens: I walk into my office.  I look around.  I take in the books piled on every available surface, the reams of papers waiting to be filed, the Christmas wrapping paper still lying on the floor by the closet, the school supplies that I was told were crucial to this year's learning efforts (yet are somehow still in a Staples bag in the corner - and it appears the kids may be learning without them), and a whole lot of other stuff that I'd be hard-pressed to even identify.  Truth be told, I feel a mite panicky.

But I plunge bravely in.  I start on the books.  Onto the shelf they go.  But should they be alphabetized?  Or organized by genre?  Or topic?  Or size?  Or paperback vs. hardcover?


While I decide, maybe I should file some of the papers.  There's a pile of royalty statements (don't confuse this with actual royalties - these are just pages that say how many books have sold - not usually as many as the pages of paper they use up writing about it!)  But should I file them by the book they're related to?  Because if I do that, I'll have to make copies of some because all the books from Little Simon, for example, are on the same statement.  Or maybe I should file them by publishing house?  But then I'll need some new file folders...


While I decide, maybe I'll put the wrapping paper away in the closet.  So I open the door....

Do you see what I'm up against?

So I go to the cookie cupboard to fortify myself and decide maybe I should blog about organizing instead of actually doing it!

Oh, and I didn't even mention organizing time!  I appear to be missing the gene for that, too.  Although not in the same way.  When it comes to time, it's not a matter of ADHD, but of BTE (I'm a Bad Time Estimator!)

I am convinced that I can do anything, or get anywhere, in 5 minutes.  This has turned out not to be true.

I know.  It boggles the mind.

Is there anyone else out there who feels that organization should be an Olympic sport?  Or anyone who has advice for the terminally disorganized?

Please share.  Feel free to comment with schedules, lists, useful categories for filing, and/or organizational tips of any kind.  I need all the help I can get.  Or you can commiserate with your own organizational woes and then, even if I'm still disorganized I will feel better for knowing I'm not alone :)

P.S.  Speaking of organization, those of you who have visited before may notice some new tabs across the top.  As yet, they are blank, but as soon as my organizational ADHD alights here for a moment, they will be extremely useful in the organization of this blog :)


  1. I don't think your ailment is uncommon, but I also think that papers take on a life of their own. Each time I have a clear desk, the papers and books come creeping back. And you know what? I have a bad habit of moving piles of paper from one spot to another, only to encounter them later. But I do write down stuff I have to do. If only I'd look at the list once in a while.

    Oh, well, no system is perfect. :D

  2. Yes! That's it! Papers have a life of their own and proliferate when we're not looking!

  3. Susanna, at least you make an attempt to organize! I walk into my office, see the piles of papers, etc. and ignore it in favour of working on my book!

  4. Yes, well technically I suppose I get points for trying, but let's face it - more cookie-eating than organizing gets done :)

  5. I wish I could help, but I think I have the same gene(s) or lack thereof as you! (Maybe before you walk into the room, visualize it, pick ONE pile/stack to clear up and only focus on that task and don't let yourself get sidetracked by any others. But I suppose that's a trick in itself.) I tried! Christy


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