We all have things to do that we hate doing, and make us uncomfortable. That being said, a little organization can ease your anxiety and actually make you feel better. We all have mindless tasks that we need to do but tend to put off for various reasons, but the truth is we just don’t choose to make the time to do them. If you approach this as emotional cleansing as well as a physical one, it will give you the added motivation you need and benefit of helping to clear out your mind.
Computer cleanup. Clean out your e-mail box, update your online accounts, unsubscribe to anything you don’t read, re-set your passwords (add a password app), and delete any old files that aren’t going to be opened again. File your loose documents and make sure everything is backed up.
Donate your old clothes and blankets, shoes, and reading glasses. So many people can use these items you have grown out of or that no longer work for you. My feet grew a half size, so out with the old and in with feeling good about yourself for making the effort to be mindful and giving: it’s more work than just throwing things out but it feels right.
Consolidate your credit cards. These can collect. If they offered a bag of brown rice for signing up, I would get one: the Star Trek card didn’t even come with a T-shirt; just like the Harley Davidson, I liked the way it looked. Unfortunately, when a card came along that I wanted for the point perks, I was declined because I had too many cards. Lesson learned. Now I have only three, and they all have perks that we actually use.
Clean out your junk drawers. Most of us have too many. I know of several in my office alone. Some even have themes, stuff that I had as a kid, old sunglasses, things we might need in the house but really should go to the garage. Much of this stuff can be thrown out or given away. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what needs to go where, but if you just do a little online research, you can find lots of good ideas.
Organize your pictures. The older you get, the more important these will become. Don’t rely on the Cloud or Facebook, but make sure you have a separate backup for photos. When your computer or phone crashes, gets stolen or lost, you will thank yourself for doing this. Special backup drives and apps are available.
Clean your desk. Where I once thought that a messy desk was a sign of creativity if not genius, I now appreciate being able to find things without digging through a bunch of papers. It also helps you keep better track of important things like bills from your health insurance (which I found on a messy desk while searching for a misplaced credit card).
Most of us need some motivation and even a little assistance in this area. I once cleaned out a home-office desk for an old friend, and she did the same for me, and it was a great exchange. Organization will give you more peace of mind and ultimately save your most valuable asset: time.
By Barton Goldsmith, Tribune News Service. Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.” Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith, or e-mail him at Barton@bartongoldsmith.com.