Out of Control

After I got my new haircut, I had to sit down and start thinking about what I needed to do to feel more in control of my life. It’s not that I have horrible things dropping on me left and right. It’s more that everything feels jumbled. I’m always late, I never know where anything is and I never feel like there is enough time to get the things I really want to do accomplished.

So the next step in my plan of action is to attempt (for the gazillionth time) to be better organized.

The problem:

I have never, ever been organized. Even in elementary school, I was that kid who had the backpack full of crap with the cubbie slot and desk that was oozing papers out onto the floor. This isn’t something that has just happened to me lately and given me the blahs…this is who I am.

I think it’s a genetic thing, as no one in my family has the ability to be organized. All of us have drawers, cabinets and closets piled high with belongings that are mismatched. Despite this, my mother and I share the deepest desire to be put together. We make plans, buy plastic bins, filing cabinets and spend tons of money at The Container Store. Yet, we never quite succeed. Both of us know how much better we feel when things are clean and neat, yet we wind up living knee-high in junk without a clue as to where anything is.

It’s great to share attributes with your family, and all, but this is one I really wish I hadn’t picked up!

I decided the best place to start would be with my electronic life. I spend a lot of time on my computer, on my work laptop and on my iPhone. I’m sure some people would think that it would be better to start with organizing my apartment, but you would be wrong. Try waking up to the following screen every morning, and then tell me you don’t feel crazed:

While I’m still working on the desktop situation, I have made strides on the Google front. First of all, I finally enabled multiple inboxes and keyboard short cuts in gmail. I also made labels and filters. My inbox has been making me feel just as anxious as my desktop.

While I didn’t take a before picture of my inbox, here it is after. It’s so nice and calming to see everything in its place and my inbox empty every time I leave it.

I don’t know if the labels I have picked will be what I keep. They were just the first ones that came to my head. I also am trying to get used to the multiple inbox thing. Currently, I’m starring things that I just want to keep in the front of my brain…such as a note from the landlord telling me that my water is going to be shut off today. In the past, that e-mail would’ve been buried in my inbox somewhere and I might’ve forgotten about it completely. Today, however, I woke up, looked at my inbox and remembered: Oh yeah! Water is going to be cut…better get up and make some coffee!


I have more to say on the subject of Google organization, but for now, I need to get up so I can get to the gym on time. It is what an organized person would do!

If you are interested in cleaning up your gmail box, but you aren’t really sure where to start, you should check out Kath’s gmail tutorials. While I am fairly computer savvy, I did watch her videos to make sure I was utilizing all of the features that would best suit my needs. A biggie that I picked up from Kath was turning on the keyboard shortcuts…I love them!

Are you an organized person? Have any tips?

4 thoughts on “Out of Control

  1. Fortunately, (or in my case unfortunately) I am uber-organized to a fault. I drive my friends and family nuts with my label maker and color-coded everything. Maybe I need to take lessons from you on how to “go with the flow more.” However, the Type-A side of me thanks you for the link to those tutorials! πŸ™‚

    1. Don’t take any lessons from me…I’m the one feeling all nutty! πŸ˜‰

      Seriously though, I really do want to be that super organized person. It just usually falls apart on me after a period of time. Just gonna get up and try it again…maybe this time it will stick!

  2. I’m with Naomi — I’m an organized FREAK. So much so, that I used to get upset with my college roommate because I could tell when she touched ANYTHING because it was out of place. I’ve really tried hard to break the OCD part of my life, but I can’t break the uber-organization.

    Sometimes I wish I could be more “go-with-the-flow,” so you should embrace what your personality type gives you! A lot of us are a bit envious…

    1. But see…I make a mess out of everything and it isn’t like, “Oh gee, I don’t care.” Instead it’s like, “Ohmigosh. Everything is wrong! I’m drowning! Why can’t this place be clean! Why am I late -again-? Blargh!”

      So, I’d say in my case, it’d be better for me to find the middle ground. If being a slob/perpetually tardy person didn’t bug me, that’d be one thing, but as it does, I should maybe learn to be a little better!

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