Thursday, January 28, 2016

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Reasons (x2) I Love my "Desktop Drawer"

Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
Yesterday, I wrote about my empty drawer. Inspired by talking to you about it, I had it redone within hours after I finished the post. It took less than an hour to put together, and I didn't have to buy a thing.

As I said yesterday, I was eyeing that space as a means of containing the paper clutter that accumulates on my desk, but I knew I needed to do more than simply toss it in the drawer. The solution I ended up with was simple, free, and true to both my I need to see it personal style and my drop and run organizational style.

I simply created my ideal desktop -- inside the drawer.

Here are three reasons I'm so excited about this plan:

  • It's visual. This is a must for my I need to see it personal style. By subdividing the drawer, I created specific homes for the things that typically end up on my desk. Because there are only three subdivisions (a box for papers, a spot for my calendar and an index card box), it's not cluttered; when I open the drawer, I can see what I need at a glance. 
  • It's easy to maintain. Because everything that belongs in the drawer has a home, I'm less likely to toss things into the drawer that don't belong there. In addition, the open box works for my drop and run organizational style.
  • It solved a problem. There are many places I could have stored all the stuff that's on my desk, but all of them required putting things out of sight. This was a conundrum because while that's exactly what I needed to do, I didn't want to forget about the stuff I was stashing away. With this solution, everything is immediately back in sight as soon as I open the drawer. Yes, I'll have to go through the papers in the box to find what I need, but I was doing that anyway.
And, for good measure, here are three more things I like about this set-up:
  • There's room to grow. The box? Formerly a home to hanging files. I selected it because it's larger than the 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper that will fill it, which will keep them from getting wrinkled and torn (are you listening, cram and jammers?). It's also deeper than a traditional paper tray, and deep enough to hold a stack of papers, but not so deep that the papers will reach  the top of the drawer.
  • It combines function with style. Making the inside of a drawer pretty may seem silly since drawers, by nature, remain closed most of the time. I believe, however, that we're more likely to use containers and systems we find attractive. In addition, if a space looks attractive (and organized) in the first place, we're more motivated to keep it looking that way. By adding contact paper to the box, I not only brightened it up, but I also secured the lid to it, creating additional stability if I want to pull it out of the drawer.
  • It has built-in motivation. The four repurposed mouse pads (there's one under the box that stores the papers and another under the calendar) not only line the drawer (instead of being stashed away in one), but also give me an incentive to get to the bottom of the stack. I love that they're being put to good use, brightening an otherwise bland spot.
The next step will be to sort the piles on my desk, deciding what will go into the desktop drawer and what won't make the cut. Once that's done, I'll need to get into the habit of dropping things into the drawer instead of onto the desk, but because I've put so much thought into setting up a system that works with my styles, I don't expect that to be a problem. My action remains the same; all that's changed is the location. 

How I feel when I solve an organizational problem.

For me, part of the beauty of organizing by style is validating the old saw that you can't judge a book by its cover. Yes, my desk is messy, but that's because I haven't yet found the right system, not because there's something inherently wrong with me. When we create systems that work with our styles we find so much more than simply order.

We find validation and hope.

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