10 Things to Do on a Rainy Afternoon

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  1. Winter is coming. Well, at the very least it comes once a year. Get your wardrobe ready by giving your sock drawer a mini-makeover. Make sure each sock has a mate and toss those that are on their last legs. Do the same for sockettes, footless tights, stockings, pantyhose, etc. Take inventory of the pieces you’ll need to get your through the colder months and save for your next shopping trip, or add to a future budget. (Feeling more ambitious and wanting to clean out your whole closet? I’ve got some tips on how to do that here.)
  2. Christmas is coming, too. Why not be super organized and spend a fun afternoon browsing the Internet and magazines to brainstorm some fun gifts for all of the people on your list? If you find birthday, anniversary or shower gifts to add to your list than you get a gold star.
  3. Craft your perfect playlist. An afternoon stuck inside is the perfect opportunity to start browsing through your digital library. Organize music based on mood, region, genre, beat, era or be even more prepared by crafting playlists for upcoming events or occasions. For example, I’ve got a playlist called “Broken Heart Mending”. Bet you can’t guess what that one’s for!
  4. Clean your oven. Because, come on- how often do you clean your oven? Probably more than I do. A friend of mine has a funny story he likes to tell about me at parties about the afternoon he walked into my apartment and found me on my hands and knees shouting obscenities at my baking rack. True story- it’s honestly my most hated task. But you have to do it sometime, right?
  5. Go through your pantry. Discard expired and damaged products, consolidate multiples and take inventories for your next shopping trip. See how much money you can save by stretching your staples and shopping your pantry to flush out meals before you need to go to the grocery store. Remember to donate anything your family won’t use or love to your local food bank!
  6. Organize your digital photos. Now is the perfect time, especially when a lot of your summer memories are current, to edit and refine your collections and store them in a way that makes them easy to revisit and share with others. Order prints of your favorites online to include with letters or holiday cards, or share by cultivating a collection on your favorite social media platform.
  7. Purge your files. Pick a filing cabinet, a box, a folder, or a magazine file and make a vow to yourself that nothing goes back inside that you don’t absolutely need to keep. Make sure to shred sensitive documents or set them aside and accumulate in order to hire a shredding service.
  8. Testing, testing, one, two, three. Once a year I like to do a quick inventory of all of my office supplies and test my pencils, pens, highlighters and markers on a scrap piece of paper so I may discard ones that have dried up, or have become difficult or uncomfortable to use. Hello, my name is B and I am anal-retentive. (In my defense, there’s nothing worse than grabbing a dead pen when you’re trying to jot something down quickly, right?)
  9. Back up your computer. If you don’t then all of that playlist organizing and digital photo sorting will be for naught. Don’t have a way of backing up your computer? Now’s the perfect time to research a method that will work for you.
  10. Pick a shelf, any shelf. That’s it. Clear it, clean it, organize it and make a vow to yourself that you will never, ever let it get disorganized again (or at the very least for another year, until you have another rainy afternoon on which to organize it again).

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I’ve shared with you some of the ways that I spend my rainy afternoons- now I’m interested in hearing how you spend yours! Drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or contribute by commenting below. Are you looking for other productive boredom busters? I’ve got plenty of thoughts on organizing here. Looking for something a little more creative? When I’m not busying myself with some project or another I’m reading or whipping up something in the kitchen. Read all about it here and here.

10 Myths About Organizing

KBB_notebook_and_journalOrganizing is not about purging. I think a lot of people fear getting organized because they equate with parting ways with the things that they love. The opposite is totally true: organizing is about deciding what truly matters to you and cultivating a space filled with things you love and appreciate that contribute to your lifestyle.

Organizing is not about changing your system. It’s about improving your system so that it works better for you. ‘Nuff said.

Organizing is not about buying more gadgets. Just because your newly organized kitchen suddenly has space to house a new fancy juicer doesn’t mean it’s a reason to purchase a new fancy juicer. Sometimes a little blank space helps us to visually appreciate the things you already have. This, of course, does not apply if you were organizing your kitchen to make room for a fancy juicer (if fancy juice is indeed your thing).

Organizing is not about making over a space. Cosmetic changes to the aesthetic are one thing; a well-organized space is not only cosmetically pleasing because it’s clutter-free and carefully planned, it’s cosmically pleasing because it attributes to an easier workflow and a more enjoyable lifestyle.

Organizing is not about creating storage. I once had a client that I was helping move to a bigger space. She had talked about the transition for months; finally her boys were going to have enough space in their rooms for all of their toys. I agreed with her until I saw that each of her small children had bedrooms that rivaled the size of my apartment with giant, gorgeous built-ins along each wall. They were originally meant for toys; however, their new house came with a giant playroom in the basement where the kids spent most of their time. Empty cupboards meant that more clutter quickly accumulated and my client found herself in the middle of her original dilemma. It just goes to show that thoughtful editing and creative organizing are sometimes better solutions than creating more storage to house more things you don’t need or want.

Organizing is not about hiding things away. If you have cherished things that you love, display them! Do you relish looking at all of the piles of work you have to do? You’re a weirdo, but who cares? Leave them on your desk! Just as everyone has different tastes in décor, different people have a variety of organizing styles that lend themselves to a certain style or another. There’s no sense in changing your system just because you aspire to a certain look. (See Number 2.)

Organizing is not about upgrading. Just because you saw that super pretty double door fridge on Pinterest doesn’t mean you can’t organize the fridge you own currently. It’s great to have upgrading goals, but don’t use them as excuses to prevent yourself from improving your lifestyle before you improve your appliances or furniture.

Organizing is not about changing your habits. It’s about recognizing those habits and organizing your space to accommodate them. I’m normally a pretty neat person but as soon as I walk in the door I throw down my keys and they usually fall where they may. I’ve since left a pretty bowl on the shelf next to the door to collect all the shrapnel (like loose change and sunglasses) from my comings and goings throughout the day.

Organizing is not about making things pretty. Yes, organizing a room usually makes it pretty but you shouldn’t hold off on purging just because you don’t have a pretty box to put it in. Conversely, don’t fool yourself into thinking that buying even more pretty baskets and storage accessories will automatically make your space more organized- it can sometimes have the opposite effect.

Organizing is not about abundance. Giant craft rooms and majestic libraries are mouthwatering to look at, but aspiring to have these kinds of spaces can sometimes be unrealistic. I’d love to have drawers upon drawers of pretty pens or fancy baking supplies too, but having an organized space has allowed me to make peace with my reality and appreciate the things that I do have and love.

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I’ve got a flexible, highly personalized approach to my organizing that’s governed by these truths- now I want to know yours! Send them at me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or comment below. Want to read more of my organizing thoughts? I’ve got a lot more that I’ve shared here.