The Great Purge has begun. After a weekend filled with the Anything Goes Gala and a Super Bowl party, you are probably thinking detox cleanse. Yes, I could use that, too, but this is the other kind of purge. Ever since our Organization Week last month, I have been itching to put Lisa Burlee’s and Kim Menges‘ tips into practice.
I started implementing Lisa’s system of labeling events in iPhoto by year then event. After getting the hang of how to change the automatic date on each Event to my designated description, the process is easy but still time-consuming. It will require some chunks of time to just focus on getting it done.
Kim’s advice to keep things where you need them has been haunting me ever since our visit to her well-organized home. I find myself rethinking cupboards and drawers while cooking in the kitchen. A few small appliances now reside in more convenient spots, while some rarely used items have been banished from the daily work zone.
These recents efforts are definitely a start but have left me craving a true purge and organizational overhaul. Out of desperation has come this realization: the only way that I am ever going to make my purging dreams come true is to schedule the time to do so on the calendar (don’t laugh TEdF).
Heeding other advice from Kim, my plan needs to work for me. I would love to block whole days to tackle closets that contain detritus circa 2005, but The Gracious Posse and life don’t allow that luxury. Besides, I know from experience that with too much blocked time, I will go off on tangents and be less productive than I would be operating out of a smaller window.
I’ve decided to try scheduling smaller bites of time to organize and purge. Serendipitously, I’ve been listening to a cute memoir (3.81 rating on GoodReads) called
Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. The author describes how, when she walked in the door from work, she would set an alarm for 20 minutes to organize and purge. During that time, she tackled one small space in her apartment. She figured that she could tolerate the 20-minute time period, and, after the alarm rang, she could always keep going if she felt like it. Knowing she just had to work for 20 minutes a day kept her focused on her task, and soon she had cleaned out the clutter of her life.
After Janice had finished organizing and purging, she headed to Paris. While Paris is not my end game, the fact that I will save real time searching for things is incentive enough to try a similar practice. Practice indeed seems the appropriate word as perhaps, like yoga, such a routine will bring a state of zen, at least for the daily scheduled 20 minutes.
I have pulled out baskets for Toss, Donate and Sell, as well as one labelled Projects/Repurpose, that can move around the house as I tackle this new daily chore. I have finally designated one spot in the house to put all of those projects that I have been planning to do, sometimes for years. They’ll be sharing space in the Christmas present closet, so if I can’t get them done by the time I need to start using the space for Christmas, the project parts are out of here.
To the Projects/Repurpose basket, I will add old VHS tapes. Thanks to sCl, I now know what to do with them. Revolve is a local company that will take all of your old VHS tapes, 35 mm film, photos – really any old media – and digitize them for you. Although Revolve typically works with big companies around town, they also love working with individuals to preserve memories. Zach Lowe, Revolve’s owner, explains why you should consider digitizing all of your old media:
-Tapes, film, photos and slides deteriorate and lose quality each year. Transferring to digital preserves meaningful moments.-Old media takes up a lot of SPACE, especially VHS tapes. They can be saved as files on a computer or discs leaving a much smaller footprint.-You can share, edit and view your memories on a DVD player or any tablet, computer, phone or similar device.-This format is perfect for posting on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest.-DVDs make a great gift for family holidays. Many times siblings will team up and split the cost of a large transfer, so they can preserve their family memories.
Though digitizing at home is possible, it sounds like one of those projects that will sit in the projects closet for a long time, especially if you have a lot to process. Plus, unless you know what your are doing, trying to create a good quality end product seems beyond frustrating. With time and patience lacking for such an endeavor, I am looking forward to visiting the folks at Revolve after gathering all the old media now scattered throughout the house.
What a relief to have a plan in place. With Kim’ paraphrase of William Morris’s famous quote,
If it’s not useful or beautiful or you don’t love it, get rid of it,
as my mantra, I am ready to let go. Think I’ll start my 20 minute alarm NOW.