I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to organizing, so I like to sign for organizing newsletters. The other day I got one in my inbox on how to decide what’s really important. We all struggle with that, so I opened it up to read some of the tips the author had to give. I was a little surprised to hear that we have to try and get rid of everything in our lives that we don’t use immediately. What surprised me even more was that learning that excess things such as paperclips and pens that we won’t use until the future create extra clutter and should be tossed.
Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am not currently using a paperclip at the moment. I’m not about to clip something as I’m writing and depending on how much I accomplish during today, I might have something to clip at the end. At some point in time I would like to clip something. I am 98% sure that there is something currently fastened with a paperclip somewhere in my office.
But to get rid of every paperclip in my office sounds a bit ridiculous. I know I’ll need one eventually. I don’t know if you can buy just one paperclip, but it would certainly be a waste of my time if I had to venture to the store every time I needed a paperclip.
I can see where having a large excess of paperclips might be a problem. Say one time I bought an entire case of boxes filled with paperclips because I was convinced I’d need that many when I actually didn’t. I could understand a personal organizer suggesting I donate all of those paperclips I didn’t need. Or maybe if I was bored I could make a paperclip mountain in the corner of my office.
But in the grand scheme of things my handful of paperclips that I actually own (in my handy dandy paperclip dispenser) takes up probably less than 1% of my office space and takes up even less room in my mind. (Unless, of course, I need something clipped and I can’t find out, which was the cause of the Great Paperclip Meltdown of 2010 and resulted in the acquisition of a paperclip dispenser.)
And a plea, to all of those who have time on their hands to even catalogue their paperclips: there are much more exciting hobbies out there! Maybe it’s time to get a new one!
As much as I love things like greeting card organizers and label-makers, I don’t want to live my life worrying about whether or not my pens are organized (unless they’re spread out over my desk). You shouldn’t have to either!
Get rid of things that you honestly know you’ll never use (e.g., ice cream maker, melon-baller) but know that it’s ok to keep the things you might use, but not right away. I’m not immediately using a wine glass right now, but it makes sense to have room in the cupboard for a time where I might use one.
Unless, of course, it’s time for a glass right now.
Visit my busy page for my blog posts on how I keep my crazy organizing habits in check. Feel like your organizing is getting out of control? Stop cataloguing your pencils by lead-type and take a break by discovering a great new read or trying out a great new recipe. Go on. I dare you.