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Downsizing 102: The new notebook

You know things have gotten serious when a new notebook comes into play. And by "a new notebook", I mean one that is separate from and in addition to my everyday notebook. One that is dedicated specifically to preparing for the move.

I should note that I use spiral notebooks for this. Specifically, these Miquel Rius ones that I get at B&N. They are a wonderful size - the paper is something like 6 x 9 - and they have perforated edges so you can have smooth, pretty paper without raggedy edges if you pull the pages out. And they have pretty colors inside - not only down the right side of the page (blue, red, grey, green, purple and teal), but also the faint lines on the pages are those colors.

Usually I buy the black-covered ones, like the one in the link, but for the move, I bought a red one. Because DANGER WILL ROBINSON! Because it makes it easier for me to identify, because I have a pile of black ones that still have working lists in them. Yeah. Probably not the most efficient system, but it's mine and I embrace that.

The thing about having spiral notebooks is that I feel free to write anything in there in any old order I want. Because hey - they're spiral notebooks, right? So you can't really organize things into categories. Which is freeing in a way, because if I tried to set up a binder and work in categories, it might cause my brain to explode.

So far, my book has the following pages in it:

1. "Look at library" - followed by a list of design books I saw at the bookstore that I want to check my library for. Because, you know, the library will loan them to you for free, and the bookstore will not.

2. An untitled list of ideas taken from this other post of mine. Because writing the post helped me work the steps out, and I needed to write them into my notebook to make sure I follow through.

3. "To get rid of" list for my sweetheart's house. This is (so far) all stuff he knows about and agrees with. Some of it can't go until a replacement has been secured, but some of it is leaving this month.

4. "Feng shui projects" for my sweetheart's house. There are two spaces in particular that need a good clearing, both of stuff and of negative energy. (There used to be three, but we re-did the petite master bathroom - paint, medicine cabinet, lighting, towel bars, shower curtain, towels - and now it's one of the happiest rooms in the house.)

5. "To get rid of" list for my house. Actually, so far it only has items listed from the garage, and there are at least 15 line items. These will go soon, because we can use the garage as a temporary storage space once things have to start moving out of the house.

There will be more things in the notebook, and soon. I'm sure there are people who would have a binder, or even several binders - one for here, one for there - or a storage box full of cards, or some system that allows the user to sort things into categories. And I guess I could have done that by assigning different edge colors to different topics. And I love the idea of categories and organization. I really do.

But it's not how I work. All this stuff is jumbled together inside my head, and it doesn't sort itself easily or come out neatly. So my unpretentious (but happy!) spiral notebooks allow me to get it all out in whatever order it comes, and without having to worry about "messing up" my system or my pretty journal or my precious filing system.

Retrieval is easier than you might think, too, as long as I can put my hand on the proper notebook. Hence, the red covers. And once a particular list is done with, I rip it out entirely and recycle it, so the notebook slims down over time.

If you are going through (or have gone through) something similar, how did you stay organized? What worked? What didn't work? What do you wish you had thought of or done?


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kellyrfineman
Oct. 9th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
I think your parting words - "Don't be too quick to try to fill all the space" - is good advice for everyone, regardless of stage of life. Having a bit of "free" space is a restful, positive thing.

I lugged my college stuff around until I got to this house, and I disposed of it about 10 years ago. I do, however, have form files from my life as an attorney in my attic, and I have to haul them down and have them shredded. (It's on this month's list. I didn't mention that in one of my other (black) notebooks, there are lists for September, October and November projects. The removal of stuff from the attic was supposed to happen in September, but has rolled into this month. As sometimes happens.)
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