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New Year Tip to Stay Organized, More Efficient and Sane.

I hate to look for things. I’m lazy that way. So much so that I will put off doing the easiest of tasks simply because I don’t want to look for whatever it takes to complete the job.  Can’t remember where I stored that document/appliance/book I wanted to reference? Well then I will sadly postpone doing whatever I was going to do…(which means, of course, I will forget what that was)…and have to remember it again to get it done. At which point…

you guessed it. I procrastinate again because I didn’t look for whatever it was I needed to complete the job.  I put myself in an inefficient, frustrating disorganized spiral where I can’t check the simplest of things off my list.


I shared with you earlier that my word for the year was ‘observe’.

I am trying to take it very seriously and put it into practice as I walk about the neighborhood, stroll through my garden, and even people watch. Now, I have always observed things of course - like that cabbage worm on the kale, the fact we are about out of toilet paper and the package the postman left on the front porch. But now I want to

O B S E R V E !!   

with intention… and make mental notes as to my observations as I do so. Deep observation. Deep focus. Deep, hopefully, recall.

So what was this epiphany you ask? It was…it is…to engage in deep intentional observation every time I do something as simple as opening a drawer or a cabinet or a closet.  By doing so I am closely examining the contents of whatever is inside and making a mental note of what is there. Normally, I will just toss/place/put whatever it is away without thinking, looking or SEEING what is in front of me.

What are the benefits of this practice?

I find things and take note of their location BEFORE I need whatever that ‘thing’ is. I find things before I need them in a way.

Case in point: A couple of years ago I bought a hand held steam cleaner to deep clean tile, glass, etc. that I have often thought would be brilliant to clean my glass shower surrounds that get cloudy with use and can be difficult to clean. But I am WAY too lazy to have hunted it down and discovered its whereabouts to put it to use. Consequently, I never used it for its intended purpose…….until now.

When I was in the basement putting up Christmas decorations, I actually took the time to examine what things were stored on the shelving unit where I was getting ready to shove my bin. Lo and behold, I saw the aforementioned steam cleaner! I smugly grabbed it and carried it upstairs and into my bathroom, ready and waiting to use. I didn’t have to locate it because I accidentally found it in my daily rounds.

I have been routinely and periodically been going through and editing, deleting, and organizing the images in my iPhoto file for January. In the process I am discovering all sorts of images I have needed to locate for one purpose or another, but didn’t want to take the time to find.

By pleasantly scrolling through my January photos looking for nothing in particular, I am finding images I want without actually hunting for them in the moment of need. This means of course that I must actually DO something with them before they are lost in the photo abyss once again, and I am working on this behavior as well.

So I guess my tip is……..

FIND THINGS BEFORE YOU NEED THEM. Which may seem counter intuitive, but I promise you will save you lots of time, frustration and wasted effort.

What is something you have found when you weren't looking?

What is one way you have found helpful to keep your eyes open?

Comment below...

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