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Friday Five - Organization
Tuesday, May. 13, 2003, 10:23 a.m.

Question: Is organization a skill, an art, or an impossibility?

What I Learned: There's always room for another to-do list.

1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? Why or why not?

Yes, because I try so hard to be organized. No, because I have to try so hard to be organized.

2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly?

I have an orange Handspring. I bought it for the color Ė they didnít have a yellow one and orange is very sunny anyway - and because it was a little unusual at the time. It doesn't have a color screen so it is harder to read than I would like. I wasn't shocked to see that they only have refurbished stock left for my handheld but it underlined to me that it is no longer new technology. I long to replace it with something more spectacular but for now I am going to make do. This is mainly because I donít have the time and energy it would take to research the alternatives. I donít bring it with me everywhere like I did when I first got my little orange PDA and I once didnít update it for so long that the batteries went dead. Thank heavens for Outlook.

3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now?

Mostly. I have many stacks of papers but you canít tell. Well, maybe you can but the trick is to spread them around the house. Iíve decentralized my stacks of papers in this way and it has allowed me to delude myself into believing that I have tamed my stacks of paper when in fact my stacks are proliferating.

4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter?

No. I have dreams of cataloging them though in a nice database. For now, we simply look for cases that match the random CDs floating around the house and hope for an end to this madness. Most of the DVDs actually do stay in their case but that is a random miracle. As for books Ė they are double stacked in some places and last week it took me 45 minutes to find my college copy of F. Scottís Great Gatsby for my daughter, which led to a sudden desire for a set of white gauze curtains as detailed here.

5. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to organize?

Both of the kidsí rooms, when they were little and every corner of their rooms was filled with little toys and gizmos. It was enough to exhaust any mother - even one on iron pills. My husband couldnít even look at it without going pale and remembering some more important chore that needed his immediate attention. He usually delivered his just-throw-it-all-out speech before departing. It's a brilliant speech. Needless to say, it had no impact on our organizing adventure. No kid worth their salt will be tossing their toys out until they are good and done with them and they will probably keep them around for a bit more just for good measure. Besides, that's what stackable plastic bins are for - and I should know because I've bought more than my share of them over the years.

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