Today we are talking procrastination.  Specifically, one method to help you get over it and get stuff done!

I am a mixed bag when it comes to procrastination. Sometimes I don’t think twice about getting tasks done – if its on my mind or on my to do list, I’ll get it done no problem. Other times though (like this past Sunday), I am big into procrastination. I dread nothing more than the task at hand. I will sit or stand frozen, unable to even take the first step toward completion.

Let me share what happened to me this past weekend.

On Sunday I told myself I needed to spend some time researching the legal side of starting my own business. Sounds fun, huh? No wonder I was putting it off. Who doesn’t want to spend their Sundays in their p-jams, sipping coffee, knitting and napping? I even got to the point that I was just wandering around my (tiny) kitchen, looking for anything to do, but sit down in front of the computer.

Did changing out of my pajamas give me the push I needed? No way. (Let’s not kid ourselves here. I stayed in my pj pants all day). Instead, I applied Premack’s Principle.Premack It Up

Premack’s Principle is simple:

You start with two tasks: one which you want to avoid and one you are looking forward to doing.  Then, you make an agreement with yourself: if you complete the task you are avoiding, you can then do the task you enjoy.  E.g. Once you eat your vegetables, you can eat your ice cream.

In my case,  I told myself that if I did my small business research online, afterwards I could finish picking out my outfit for an upcoming wedding. Both were things I needed to get done soon, but trying on dresses and shoes from my closet is a LOT more appealing to me than googling business registration rules and regulations.

And guess what, it worked!  I got through the research I needed, made a list of questions to look into further and found a good contact for those questions.

What project or task are you avoiding at home or at work?  What can you use as a rewarding task to help get the job done?

 

 

Ok, so this might sound a little weird coming from a person who writes a lot about organizing her stuff and who is trying to make a career of helping others organize their stuff, but I’m just going to have to say it. Why are we spending so much time dealing with our stuff?  Wouldn’t a great solution be to just have less of all that stuff?

Phew. That felt good to say it out loud.  Owning less is something I’ve been mulling over in my head ever since I started looking into professional organizing (which just happened to coincide with me needing to deal with moving all of my stuff to the east coast).  I often see blog posts or pins on pinterests which have a great end result – a room full of things very neatly hidden away and organized.  More and more though, I stop and look at these “after” pictures and wonder if all of those things are helping that person’s life.

Another thing I need to confess is that I am a bit of a shopper and spender, so it’s not like it’s my natural inclination to not own many things.  It’s the opposite, in fact.  I definitely cannot say today that I subscribe to a minimalist lifestyle.  I doubt I’ll ever show up on this blog, sitting in an empty room, but I do wonder what affect owning less would have on my life and why it seems so difficult to get there.

Today I have no finished product or project to share with you – just this initial thought on having less.  As I process this idea more, I’ll share with you.  As always, if you have your own thoughts, please share them with me in the comments.

fullcloset

 

turning30Okay, so having a birthday isn’t exactly a decision I can or cannot make, but I did decide to use this year’s big birthday to reflect back and look forward, so I’m counting it!

I am extremely grateful for what I gained in my twenties.  I made lifelong friends, met and married the best person imaginable, got some education (math is awesome!) and learned lots and lots of pesky life lessons.  And in the last six months I picked up and moved to a brand new city (not for school), which has been rewarding, rejuvenating and one of the hardest things I’ve done.

So…what about the next decade? And the years that follow?  What do I want to accomplish with my life?  In traditional Elizabeth-form, a list:

  • Grow our family.
  • Buy a home.
  • Take vacations.
  • Have a fulfilling work life.

To be honest, I could only look forward so far.  But even as I type up my list here, I think I would be pretty happy if this was my high-level life list.

When I started this blog, one of the purposes was to help me start my own home organizing business.  I told myself I would blog all summer, then come fall take those first steps in starting a new career.  Well it’s September and although its 90 degrees out, September to me equals fall, so its time to take a leap and do something even more challenging than moving across the country.

My first step is to make a list (did you guess that?) – of things I need to do to get this business up and running.  As I check things off the list, I’ll share my successes, missteps, frustration, excitement and all of the other emotions I’m sure will arise along the way.  My blog helps me share my ideas, but also keeps me motivated to accomplish something as huge as starting my own business!

 

 

This is second installment of my extensive, two-part series on organizing my CDs and DVDs. Today I’ll be sharing my organizing process for my DVDs.

For me, one of the keys to a successful organizing project is first understanding how you use/interact with whatever you’re trying to organize.  Once I’ve got a clear picture of this, then I move on to how I’m actually going to do the organizing!  Starting with the WHY, rather than the HOW or WHAT for the project.  <I try to be selective when it comes to actually adopting what I call “business-speak”.  This  idea, though, is a keeper>

On to the DVDs! Those discs won’t organize themselves, will they?

The DVDs

A big difference between my CDs and my DVDs is how often I need access to them.  With my CDs pretty much never.  With my DVDs, I  still need the physical disc whenever I want to watch the tv show or movie.  I am a repeat watcher of both tv shows and movies.  Don’t even make me admit how many times I’ve watched Sex and the City or Clueless or 10 Things I Hate About You.  Or Greys Anatomy for that matter.  Actually, I stand by my Clueless viewings.  It allowed me to do super well on this quiz.

Oh, we were talking about organizing?  Okay, back to that.

On the one hand, using a CD binder for my DVDs would have worked – it holds round shiny discs just fine.  On the other hand, I don’t think looking at one of those on my shelf all the time is much of an improvement over the DVD cases themselves.  So, I decided to search for a different solution.  This lead to a lot of clicking on Amazon.

The (many many) Product Choices

To save you some precious time, here’s a summary of what I found.

  1. Regular Binders – I already mentioned these, but there are special inserts for DVDs so that you can store your DVD cover or booklet along with the DVD.  Why DVD cases aren’t the same as CDs I do not know.
  2. Nicer looking bindersThese are designed to not look like they’re holding discs at all.  They look like traditional hard cover book or photo albums from the side.  These just weren’t my style.  Also, they were going to be a bit pricier than I wanted to spend on this project.
  3. Photo box – With these boxes, you can keep the DVDs in their original cases.  The original purpose of this project was to downsize, so this wasn’t going to work for me.  However, if you’re attached to the cases but not how they look on your shelf, this is a good option.  Be prepared to need lots of boxes though!
  4. Photo box with individual sleeves – There’s lots of options in this category.  I have some of these boxes from IKEA that I store actual photos in.  Here is one option and one box I was seriously considering.  This second box, I love the look of!  However, in order for this system to work, I would also need to choose a sleeve style for the discs (yes, there were many options of these as well!).  That’s the main reason I didn’t go with this system.  Also, I thought if all of the discs were in the one box, I might get annoyed about flipping through the discs to find the one I wanted.  I could see this system working well to store computer-related discs.  For example, backups of your OS and digital photos.
  5. Mini bindersThis is the product I ultimately went with.  They look good, they hold a lot of discs and the price was right.  Additionally, there are four separate books which can help you order and ultimately find a particular disc quickly.  The small colored ovals on the spine of each binder is actually a piece of paper, so you can label what is in each binder.

The Process

DVDCollage

My DVDs before; In the process of loading the cases and trimming some DVD covers; the final product (From left to right)

Filling up the mini binders was super quick.  I grouped movies together, followed by tv shows. Most of the discs were labeled with the movie/show name, so I discarded the entire case – doing my best to separate anything recyclable from the rest.  There were just a few movies that only had their name in very very small print around the center of the disc.  For these I saved the paper cover of the movie, trimmed it to CD case size (again, why this isn’t the default size, I do not know) and slid it in behind the disc.  A little extra work, but I’m glad I did this extra step.

I ended up having to order a second case.  Greys Anatomy sure does take up a lot of those sleeves!! There is plenty of room in the second set.  I could definitely fit all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in there if one day I decide I need to watch the series AGAIN.  Another added feature that I discovered is that the cases of the mini binders are stackable.  There are little grooves on the tops and bottoms to help keep the cases in place on your shelf.

The End Result

Again, I’m super happy with the end result!  The DVDs take up so much less space in our living room, but the discs are just as easy to access as they were before.  In the case of Mad Men, they’re even easier to access.  (Please let me know if you know what I’m talking about!) I did need to spend a lot of time searching for the right container for the discs.  That is pretty typical for me, so I hope by sharing my work with you, I’ll save you some time in the future!

Also, if there’s any organizing projects you’re thinking of doing (or have been avoiding doing), please share them in the comments!  I’ll use these for future organizing posts.