Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Take Away Ten

I have a love-hate relationship with the counter in my office. It has the potential to be a lovely, long stretch of potential work space, and, for brief periods of time, it is.

The trouble is, this lovely, long stretch of work space is also a clutter magnet. A convenient drop spot for homeless items, papers, receipts and files (not to mention the items that actually belong there), it rarely affords me more than 11" x 14" of viable workspace.

Because clearing off the counter feels insurmountable, it's a task I relegate to the bottom of my to-do list. So, in an effort to reclaim the space, I've been playing a game with myself. Each day, I need to remove 10 items from the counter and put them away (I can't count them if I just move them to another location where they remain homeless). If I don't take away ten, they get added to the next day's quota.

Following a great piece of organization advice I heard years ago, I sometimes start from the bottom and work up. Sure enough, the papers and miscellany at the bottom of the pile are usually easily -- and quickly -- dealt with.

After my last serious attack on the counter, I became more careful about just how much dropping and running I did, so, although my "take away ten" strategy is helping me make progress, it won't solve the main problem: a small stack of items with a photo album as its foundation. When I bought the photo album, I knew I was solving one problem (finding a home for miscellaneous photos) while creating another one (finding a home for my new purchase). Consequently, my no-longer-new purchase is still sitting on my counter, taking up more than its fair share of space.

I knew better, but I bought it anyway. Bad idea.

The good news, though, is that once I decide on a home for that one item, I'll more than double my available space.

I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel of papers.

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