Best Laid Plans

Episode #155: Current Adventures in Organizing + Decluttering

July 17, 2023

In today’s episode (inspired by last week’s blog post) — I discuss the planning-adjacent topic of organizing and curating our spaces and stuff. I delve into my own history with organizing (being organized + clearing clutter has not always been a personal strength!) and prior influences, from Marie Kondo to Lisa Woodruff. Finally, I discuss current challenges and plans to gradually clear things up around our home, one small area (and one small time block) at a time.

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  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns July 17, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    Ugh. Your 4th grade teacher! I can sadly one up you… I had a bizarre 4tj grade teacher who had all these rules like you could only have 3 books on your desk at a time or you could not hand in an assignment with the ‘crinkles’ from a spiral bound notebook or he would fold it in half, rip off the crinkles, and whatever was lost you didn’t get credit for. He also told us that women were responsible for sin in the world since eve ate an apple from the tree in the garden of Eden. One day I had 4 books on my desk and he tipped the desk backwards while I was sitting in the desk so all the contents fell out on me. My parents were instrumental in getting him fired. He was a monster.

    I am not consistently organized but I go through kind of periods of organizing/decluttering. So it’s kind of a cycle that repeats itself which is fine. I am very organized in terms of calendar items, work commitments, etc. I am not really clutter blind… I just don’t feel super motivated to deal with it until I am in the right mindset.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 17, 2023 at 1:29 pm

      Oh wowwwwwwwww- that sounds really scary and I’m very glad your parents got him out!!!!!!

  • Reply Keren July 17, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    Putting aside the shocking behaviour of your teacher, how big are school desks in this US? We used to share one desk for two students, so there really was no room for clutter, in any given time I had a notebook and maybe a book that were related to the ongoing class and a pencil case at max. I don’t remember teachers commenting on the tidiness of desks, only on doodling on desks.
    My desk at home is another thing, till this day it’s covered in clutter. When I had a cat whenever I cleared it she would come and sit on it😊
    I think keeping things in order is a matter of personality, like Lisa wrote I’m organised when it comes to work and my schedule, but I don’t keep my stuff in order. I also don’t think it’s related to being minimalist, my grandmother was extremely organised and yet she didn’t throw anything. She told me the secret is to put everything away as soon as you’re done using it, never worked for me… My best friend at school was also extremely organised and tidy, couldn’t stand it if something was moved a few centimetres from its place. I think it’s different wiring of our brains, our ability to tolerate clutter.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 18, 2023 at 7:55 am

      I’m also better with time than space!! probably b/c I am not very visual person. Desk size – hm, maybe 2 feet wide by 1.5 ft long and with a lid that opened so a good amount of stuff could fit in there? we didn’t share back then.

  • Reply Hayley Finnemore July 25, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    Hey, would love to win any of the planners guy talked about on the podcast today:

    1) Rad & Happy undated weekly planner
    2) Passion Planner academic weekly + erasable pens
    3) Performance Lab’s Focus Planner

  • Reply Susan Sanders August 13, 2023 at 10:51 am

    How are you liking 2 Week’s Notice? I read it earlier this summer.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 13, 2023 at 11:19 am

      I thought it had a few interesting ideas (but still not quitting my 60% job 🙂 )

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