XO-LP // Laura Palmer


Love Letters to a New Year.

Resolving to be Organized: 5 ways it could happen in 2014.

Dear 30,

I'm continually on a quest or questing to be a Calmer Palmer.
(Do people say questing? That's a real question. Comment with answers.) 

(This is intended to show a Calmer Palmer. Or at least someone who makes silly Photobooth faces and wears ponytails. Calmly.)

(This is intended to show a Calmer Palmer. Or at least someone who makes silly Photobooth faces and wears ponytails. Calmly.)

With so many people making these resolutions, (Even Kanye makes New Yeezy Resolutions) it's hard for me not to get caught up in my own list making.

I far prefer personal new years to the calendar turn, but in 2014 I have some pretty serious goals in mind. You know, I resolve to be organized, I resolve to be a far better communicator, I resolve to cure my fat, fat heart, and I resolve to create, daily. Some pretty basic, often set resolutions, but whoa these are big time tough. 

To help myself keep these big goals in check, I'm putting together a few how-yous to keep me on track. (A "how-you" is a "how-to" for yourself. At least that's what I'm calling it.) A collection of resources, inspiration and XO-LP plugs neatly packed in list form.

Sounds like an ideal way to swag into January? I couldn't agree more. 
(Do people use swag as a verb or strictly as a noun describing a mic-droppin, hip swayin, confidence loaded attitude? That's a real question. Comment with answers.)

How-You #1: I resolve to be Organized:

1. Keep Track of Dates.

Lately I think I've got a pretty empty calendar (but a pretty calendar). And then, boom, double booked. I know what you're thinking. I think it too. How does this happen when there are cell phone calendars, watches you can wear that tell you how wear to go, and a good ol' moleskine in my purse at all times? Seriously. How?

I think I have an unnaturally nonsensical sense of time. Weeks are either packed with a double booked Tuesday through Thursday or empty and free for college basketball watching.

january 2014.jpg

The key is finding balance, (according to Oprah) saying yes and no with purposeful ease and then putting all appointments on the calendar, ASAP. The plan is to use my tools effectively and keep my schedule balanced. The transition from my sweet little notebook to an iPhone reminder has been happening for awhile, it's time. (Although I still want this. It's so pretty. Great, beautiful work Mi Goals. I'm obsessed.)

Here's what other people taught me:

  1. This article not only gives tips on what calendar to use, but also tells you, in ad form, "what men really want."
    [two birds. one stone. that's legit organizing.]
  2. A color coded system should make complete sense to me. Hither and Thither breaks it down with some bonus links.
  3. There are Outlook courses all over the internet. Taking to time to understand the tools given to me? Seems Obvious. But hasn't yet been done.

2. Keep That Inbox in Check.

Dani Awesome has a system. There are folders and an inbox at 0. Seriously 0 messages sitting in her inbox. She explained her organized ways to me on Saturday: "if it's in my inbox there's still an action to complete." WHEW. Girl has it together. I'm trying to use Dani as inspiration as I file all 2,317 gmail messages away, slowly. 

A couple other people are giving me this advice:

  1. A site called Simplify 101 has to have some good thoughts, suggesting a 15 minute-a-day window to sort your inbox. 
  2. The Email Fanatic says to install Boomerang. Sounds like a magic email helper. I'm all over it. 

3. Follow Thru. Like Right Away.

This is hard, but should be simple. With so many messages coming at me, from so many places (text + call + email + pigeon + Facebook message + twitter + some new Instagram direct message thing) and with the phone linking to the Outlook to the gmail… it's so easy to lose something. It's happened to you, right?

No advice needed, here. I know the answer is to answer. Right away. More on this in Resolution #2.

(an un-staged, real life desk. a pile of markers and receipts and mail and masking tape.)

(an un-staged, real life desk. a pile of markers and receipts and mail and masking tape.)

4. Don't Make Unnecessary Mess.

I'm an unintentional collector. An affliction not to be confused hoarding. I make piles, often don't put things back in their proper place. I wouldn't say I'm messy, but I wouldn't call myself tidy. Clothes often hang out in a laundry basket for a few days. (Honesty is part of the how-you.) I tend to make a bigger mess when I try to organize my mess. So I tend to leave the pile of papers in the desk drawer, even though it includes three nail files, 7 receipts, 4 photo strips and at least one dollar bill. 

I find that my organizational "systems" are based on simply remembering where something was last set down. It's a complex, LP centered system particularly hard for the roommate to pick up on. I could definitely use some tips here.

Internet experts told me this:

  1. Clutter keeps you from creating? Say what?! Mess = Stress according to Sherrie. (I'm already cleaning that drawer.)
  2. "Giveaway one item a day" will help with #5. (Becoming minimalist doesn't sound that bad, right? Less stuff, less messes I can make with that stuff?)
  3. Anything Feng Shui sounds tough, but totally interesting. This article tells me that Feng Shui says clutter is that "stagnant, blocked energy that drains energy from you and lowers the quality of your life." That's just upsetting. (I'm now cleaning out the hall closet.)

5. When in doubt, Toss It. [oh or even better: Sell it.]

What if that skirt eventually becomes cool again? What if I need this article from the Daily Iowan circa 2006? What if that sheet pan magically stops bending and popping when it gets hot in the oven? I have to keep them to find out.

In 2014 it's time to stop with the "what if" and start with the "get real." (I sense a catch phrase.)

I'll be learning to use Poshmark (help me), visiting Worn and finding ways to donate what's left. There's a lot of it. Lots of paper samples. Lots. Do people still buy goods from Ebay?!

So much to learn. So much advice. So many paragraphs.

What are your tips for getting organized in the new year? 

Now back to my complex system of gmail folders, the pile of mess I've made trying to organize the mess and speedy response to that Facebook message I just received.