On Organizing: When it All Comes Together


I carry a pocket notebook for when inspiration strikes and to jot down to-do lists and ephemera.  It tends to languish in my purse, not for lack of anything to write about, but because I don’t have a pen.  Don’t get me wrong: I have several coffee mugs full of pens — just none that feel good while writing in my Moleskine.

Writing is an aesthetic experience.  There’s something intoxicating about the smell of just-written words.  When I write with the proper pen, it’s like having a solo moment in an orchestral piece: everything comes together for a brief, shining moment.  It feels good.

So why don’t I pull out my little notebook as often as I could?  Because it’s not fun to write with the wrong pen, one that requires too much pressure, or goes dry without warning.  Using my notepad is something that I should do, but don’t because it’s not pleasurable.

How many of you do the same with something that’s good for you?  You know you’d be better off, but don’t — like flossing.  That’s a good habit to have.  Or putting the mail away the minute you walk in the door.  There’s not a designated spot for it, or it’s out of the way, or you’re too tired to walk the extra ten steps, or the corner of the table is clean for once so you can toss it there and forget about it.  There are a million reasons not to put the mail away.  And yet, when you put the mail in its spot, the house is cleaner.  When the house is clean, you feel calm.  When you feel calm, you’re more productive, and you can get more done.  See?  Orchestral solo — so why aren’t you putting the mail away?

I don’t use my notebook (or floss, or put the mail in its spot) because it’s not entirely pleasant.  But I like that solo feeling, and the peace that follows.  That’s why even though it seems wasteful — and a little silly — to spend time seeking a new pen when I have a hundred here at home, I’m going to do it anyway.

What “silly” thing have you done to help yourself stay organized?


©2009 at Simple Savvy, the simple living blog where I have a tendency to decorate my storage bins so they’ll be more attractive.  Image courtesy of Rachel Barton Pine.