A pile is not a file

“I need to go to the Container Store”. When I hear my husband say that simple sentence, I’m totally in. Unlike when he says he’s going to a nearby office supply store for something, I have to go with to the canstockphoto1397590Container Store. There is always something there I could buy to get myself more organized.

I work from home when I’m not doing an interim management engagement, so my home office is a continuous improvement project. Or is that just an excuse to fool myself and buy more organizing tools?

Before the trip last weekend, I stepped back to assess my needs. After all, you can’t just walk into that store and head to the home office section without a plan. I opened the storage closet in my home office. I was instantly reminded that I had unused organizers from previous trips plus unwanted products from my husband’s home office. The guilt set in.

I made a plan for organizing my desk and working files better. I decided I didn’t need any new organizers for now. But I did want one more way to hang stuff up on my office wall. So, I carefully measured the space and thought about the product I’d buy.

There’s something about the Container Store that sucks you in. There’s always a sale and always cool new products. It’s not that close to us so fortunately we don’t go that often. The challenge is to not wander around the store fantasizing about all the possible containers and organizers that could transform your life. Who couldn’t be more organized somewhere in their life? Whether it’s your kitchen, your bathroom, your laundry room, your closets, or your office, there’s something calling to you.

We got to the store and separated. My husband had one house organizing item to buy. I told him to meet me in the home office section. When he found me, he asked what I was looking for. When I showed him the magnetic strips I wanted to put up on the wall, he said he had several at home already not being used. Not having seen them or the size they were, I didn’t want to rely on this new info and walk out empty handed. We agreed given the price of two small ones that would surely fit my space that I may as well buy them.

Of course, when I saw the weekly to do organizer pad that looked superior to the one I’d been trying to use, I threw that into the cart too. My husband said he’d use it if I didn’t. Since it’s a pad of sheets by week, I generously tore off several sheets of both the new pad and the old one for him so he could try them.

So, after a short work week at home, how did my new weekly organizer pad work? So far, I’m feeling more organized about all my “to do’s”. Only time will tell. And there’s a little humor with it – there are multiple sections besides the daily blocks. One of them says “snowball in hell”. Guess that’s the stuff you write down to do with all good intentions but are never really going to get to it. We’ve all been there.

How about my overall desk organization goal? Not so good. I know what I need to do but didn’t make the time this week. As my husband told me years ago “a pile is not a file”. He has seen more piles of paper in my quasi home offices (aka the dining room table in some places we’ve lived) over the years than he cares to remember. The good news, I’m much more organized and print far less than I did at one time. And it’s all contained in my own space.

There is hope!

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