No Resolve


restoring sanity through downsizing

Urgency Day 226

500 Things Items 274-277: Paper Chasers

  • History: Various attempts at desktop tranquility
  • Value: Encouraged paper profligacy, so none
  • Parting Pain: None
  • Un-possessing: Donations

On Sunday, January 2nd, the second day of resolve, I read this in The New York Times:

“So. Have You Broken Your Resolutions Yet?”

I’m sure you can name the two most popular New Year resolutions people make:

  1. Lose weight/get in shape
  2. Organize everything

I don’t make resolutions.

It’s not because I don’t have plenty of flaws that I should self-improve; I just don’t think making a New Year resolution is the best strategy for enacting improvement. I think it’s the best strategy for increasing guilt. And I don’t need to exercise or organize my guilt.

One big misconception people have about organization is that it takes a lot of specialized gear and contraptions to achieve it:

  • You have a lot of stuff;
  • You want to organize your stuff;
  • You buy a lot of stuff to organize your stuff;
  • You now have all the same stuff plus more stuff to organize your stuff;
  • You also have less money from buying more stuff.

My friend Vicky likes the quote:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

Similar to the old chestnut:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.”

Vicky also says that, and in her Kentucky lilt, it sounds like the voice your conscience should have. Hers or Jiminy Cricket’s, of course.

I try not to proselytize. Who needs that? But I do observe what works for me, with maybe a soupcon of belief that it might work for you, too. Here’s what I’ve found.

Do not buy more organizers; own less stuff.

In that spirit, I’m downsizing my organizers. These desktop paper organizers just encouraged me to keep more papers on my desk. And my desk isn’t even “my” desk; I’m still a guest of the Self-Contained Unit. Ironic? Just a soupcon.

And as a follow-up to The Reckoning, the long-overdue downsizing of my holiday crap, I offer pictures from the second phase, The Post-holiday Take-Down:

Reckoning 2.0

more of less

  • Several shopping bags of broken this and that,
  • And some embarrassingly dusty fake plants: Trashed;
  • Several book boxes of glass balls and trinkets: Donated;
  • One over-sized red and green holiday bin, emptied and repurposed for our developing composting efforts; Finally.

I’m pleased. It’s a start.

And I resolve not to replace any of it.

No wait! I didn’t say that!


2 Responses to “No Resolve”

  1. melanie Says:

    Your first grouping of dots reminded me of George Carlin’s very funny diatribe on “stuff,” and how a house seems to be just a place to put your stuff.

  2. Donna Says:

    I hear you sister. I’ve had the same resolution regarding getting organized for over twenty years. I woke up one day about six months ago and noticed this fact. When I neaten my stuff in the basement, I still have all the stuff — it’s just neater (and only temporarily). This year, I resolve, will be different. “Hope springs eternal.”

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