Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Is It Possible To Simplify Your Life?

Simplify to me, means not having to move something to get to something.

Be it a stack of un-filed papers in my office, three layers of cans on my pantry shelf, or five boxes of craft stuff on my studio shelves....

You get the picture, and NO that is not my office, but at times it looks like it.

So you ask, what am I doing to make a pile like this go away?  Remove layers, and boxes and whatever else is in the way ....

First off, I'm giving myself time to do this.  Changing the habit of just putting something down and not away, won't happen over night.

Second, I'm finally moving into the digital age...I mean I publish digitally, so why have all these papers, receipts, recipes in messy stacks?

I have a Neat Scanner and I'm using it.  I'm scanning all my boxes of scripts (ones I've bought to study) research notes that I kept from old projects....

NOW I put everything into Office's OneNote system.  But I have collected years of paper that needs to be digitized...

And I'm looking all the material in my files/stacks/piles before I scan it. Some of it is way dated...into the recycle bin it goes.

Cupboards will be cleared this year, and those things we haven't used, won't use, will be recycled, repurposed, or given to charity.

Both my husband and I are on board with this, so that makes it much easier. 

Now how to simplify other parts of my life....that's for another post. 

And if you have suggestions, ideas, thoughts on what you want to simplify, comment, it's good to see what others are doing.

Here's to a simplified New Year, without stacks and piles in the way. 

Happy Twenty-Thirteen.


  1. To me simplify means there’s no stuff to find.

    The CEO came into my boss’s office and saw his messy desk. Of course it was messy. He was the creative director. The big boss said: “A messy desk is a sign of a messy mind.” My boss knew the CEO took great pride of never having anything out of order on his desk. “Then, what’s an empty desk a sign of?” my boss asked. The CEO just left without saying a word. He didn’t come back to the creative department again.

    A mess and lost items stimulate creativity like a gad fly makes the horse's tail move. A real mess is really a WIP. Order is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    BTW: I’ve had an external hard drive that my sister gave me over a year ago and I’ve been waiting for my internal hard drive to fill up to use it and now, because of your last post, I realize I need to use the external hard drive to back up my computers. I'll have to do that today.

    Happy New Year! And thanks for all you do.


  2. Hey Leslie Ann,

    I've always prided myself on an orderly desk. Lately, my desk looks like the stack of papers in your portrayal. Until Vince made a case for a messy desk being a good thing, I was feeling really guilty about my heaps. But then I realized that my heaps cannot be filed away--they are reminders of all of the marketing and promotion opportunities forthcoming for which I must be reminded and a sign of great activity. With this said, however, I think the piles need to be better organized--LOL! Thanks for inciting me to do just that and to worry about bigger things--like writing my next story.

    I wish you a happy 2013!

    Lisa P.

  3. Hi Vince,
    The reason I'm trying to bring order to chaos is too often I need something right away; a bill, a receipt, a form, letter...and I can't find it. That drives me nuts.

    I then spend way too much time trying to find it and that's what I hate.

    My husband, an attorney for 30+ years had piles of files on his desk of and it worked for him, current cases etc. AND they were the neatest darn piles.

    I just know I can't have too much clutter and mess around or I feel too overwhelmed sometimes to BE creative.

    Yes, use your EHD for backup and find a routine that works for you. I use Blackblaze, 2 EHD and flash drives. I've had too many problems with computers not to be redundant, redundant, ah, redundant.


  4. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for visiting! I agree some piles seem to be okay for me too. I have a folder, bright purple that I put important things I need to accomplish...then I forget to look at it.

    And while I'm working on the story, my desk is strewn with papers, but I'm trying, at night, to put it all into order for the day, b/c when I did that, and came into my office, it was like a sigh of relief to greet order and I knew I didn't have to spend time trying to find stuff.

    I live by the motto, "to each their own," and you'll find what I'LL find what works, and the next trick will be sticking to it.


  5. Glad to hear you like your Neat Scanner. I've seen the commercials and thought about getting one. Maybe it's time. :)

    My desk will get messy now and then when I'm in the throes of writing. Or the holidays. Right now I need to backhoe my entire office, repository of everyone's stuff while I had family here. Ack! I am making progress, tho, and my dining room (the other dumping ground) is unburied. Okay, the decorations are still out, but that'll change over the weekend.

    Thanks for the excellent blog, LA! I'm even more psyched to get 'er done now!

    Nancy Haddock

  6. Hi Nancy!
    When you're done with the backhoe, send it on over :)

    After the office, the rest of the house is going go through the same clearing.

    Like I said, this is going to take time, I figure a year to simplify and it's not easy.

    And usually when I give something way, sure enough, later I regret it, thinking I need it.

    But one collects so much stuff over the one plan is to put much of my collectables away, then bring them out and "redecorate" often. That way it'll feel like I'm seeing it for the first time again.

    Office is first, then the rest.

    Keep your surfboard,

  7. is a great site and they're starting off the year with a Grand Cleaning challenge. Also I like the book confessions of an organized homemaker.

    I wouldn't scan in all my research, I have it organized in binders and filed in cabinets; however, I would love one of those scanner things to file my receipts.

    Good luck.

  8. Unfortunately, that first picture looks a lot like my office. But whenever I start to get rid of it, I stop to read the papers and am distracted. I think I should hire one of those professional de-clutters. But I'd never let go of anything without checking it first.
    Good luck to you with your project. Hope you're successful!

  9. Hi Diana!
    I'll check out the site, always, ALWAYS looking for inspiration.

    The reason I'm scanning in my research is that I'm running out of room! Bankers Boxes are piling up and I just hate that look. Thus the scanning.

    And OneNote is my new digital filing cabinet.

    And I have redundant back up systems so I don't lose my digital stuff, see prior posts on back up if you're interested.

    Thanks for visting, nice to see you here. And if you'd like become a follower, I have lots to share :)


  10. Oh, Ellis,
    I get so distracted too. It's awful and then I get frustrated. That's why this simplifying thing is a year process.

    NOT for my office, or at least I hope not, but for the house in general.

    Once the piles are gone, it will be interesting to see if they stay gone!!

    Happy New Year.