Don’t know if this is a symptom of growing up or just a slap of reality but recently I have come to accept that I have been living over the opposite side of OCD. My messy disposition has finally caught up with me. The creative mess I once called my room is now starting to annoy me. There are times I couldn’t find something that I swear I knew exactly where I kept them and I couldn’t track the things I borrowed and the things other people borrow from me. Yes, I’m that much of a sloven. I had this mental cycle of cleaning my room so I could mess it up later and messing up my room so I could clean it later. The horrors of being a Gemini could be a drag but realization is the first step to changing for the better.
“A clean and organized house is an open door for prosperity.”
This year I vow to begin and maintain a habit of being organized.
I have started with my laptop and online documents. These are the easiest but the most time-consuming things I have organized. I’ll also be sharing a few tips on how you too can delete, organize and update these stuff.
My Yahoo! e-mail is a jungle filled with a lot of e-mail notifications from every subscription I got in the past year, which unfortunately I wasn’t able to read in forever. It was a tedious process trying to clear up that mess and no, I didn’t really read everything before deleting.
I started with the personal messages, which were just few, and decided whether they needed a reply or not or if it’s too late to reply at all. After, if they contained important data I made sure to download and save them first before deleting.
Next, I checked my e-mail subscriptions then decided if I wanted to continue with it or not. I made sure I unsubscribed or edited my e-mail preferences before I started deleting everything. Especially when it came to deals, I didn’t have to read them at all because judging from the fact that I haven’t read those in months and that deals are only available at a certain period, I assumed most of them are expired already.
After I cleaned up my inbox off over 2000 unread e-mails, I now check my mail on a daily basis and save only the important ones. I do this every day after breakfast. Also, I’m now being careful with signing up for e-mail subscriptions. You never know which one mails you promotional ads on a daily basis.
I had a habit of accepting friend invites even if I don’t know the persons inviting me. Got a little of a popularity contest going on before lately I realized I only get pissed off browsing my FB page to the uninteresting and sometimes negative posts of those I don’t even know. One time someone even posted indecent photos with a horrible caption and it showed up in my Facebook Feed. If I were in a public place then and somebody saw them in my feed, they’d probably have the wrong idea about me. That was a nightmare so I deleted and blocked some accounts I found to be annoying. I wanted my FB Feed to be a haven of inspiring posts and not even the friends I know post those kinds of things all the time so I unfollowed some. That didn’t delete them from my friends list but it certainly de-cluttered my feed.
GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT
Every time I log into my blogger page, the most recent blog posts of the blogs I follow show up and from time to time, I wondered why I only see 2-3 people updating posts in that feed when I am a follower of a lot of blogs. That was when I realized that most of the blogs I followed via GFC were either shut down, transferred to a new domain or weren’t updated for a long time. It’s the last reason that made me sad. I used to follow those blogs because they were my sources of inspiration when I was still new to blogging. Anyway, I had to unfollow those that are no longer updating so I can see more recent posts from different blogs in my feed instead of 2-3 of the same blogs every single day. After that, I had to scour the internet for more interesting blogs to follow, and hopefully new blogger friends to meet. I resented the idea that following a lot of blogs will give you more followers. Lately, I realized that I’m blogging to inspire people and expand my circle of friends, not to gain popularity.
A week ago I had to reformat my laptop because of an unwanted virus. When I opened up my Google Chrome after that, unfortunately my bookmarks were reverted back to the bookmarks I organized a year ago and it was a mess. I lost my recent bookmarks and damn it, I had to start all over again. What’s more is that I was distracted by all my old bookmarks that instead of deleting everything and bookmarking the important ones, I had half a heart to give those old bookmarks a chance again. It’s like I remembered why I bookmarked them in the first place. This slowed me down a little but no worries, I was able to reassess the websites I really needed and re-organized everything into folders. Sometimes it takes you to lose everything so you can remember the things you really need.
You can also change the folder icons to easily view the folder you’re looking for.
Before, if I couldn’t print out the photos I have taken, I’d burn all of them into a CD and store them somewhere. It was only last Christmas when I went home that I checked them again and a lot of them weren’t functioning well anymore. All those years of memories, wiped out by the fact that CDs aren’t as reliable as they were before. This same case happened to one of my USBs. I had one that just suddenly malfunctioned and I could no longer recover the files I had there. Storing important intangible files in tangible equipment do not guarantee safety. In this age of advancement, clouds are invented so you can store everything online and not worry about it getting damaged by age or any physical occurrences. Although there’s a huge risk in it getting hacked, I’m glad I’m no celebrity. Hackers are intelligent and they know better than hacking an account of an ordinary person. Just refrain from uploading financial stuff or pictures you’ll regret uploading later in your cloud.
Uploading everything all at once will take forever so what I do is I organize the pictures according to events, time or people. I have a separate folder for Mix and me, another folder for my nurse training experience as well as for other miscellaneous photos. I convert them to a zip file before uploading so they’ll upload faster. There’s a lot of free clouds online for limited spaces. So if you consume the allotted free space, then sign up for another. LOL
ALL YOUR FILES in GENERAL
My Downloads folder is another typhoon aftermath of files. From word documents to pictures to music and videos, even torrent files and programs, all in one single battlefield, really I couldn’t be any more of a sloven. And so, to take a step into being an organized new me, I had to get in there and place everything into their designated folders.
There are already pre-made folders for Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos. In the Documents folder, I organize everything according to topic. I had a folder for Important Documents, which contain my resume, transactions, etc. I also had a folder for my Blog, which contained sub-folders for my blog posts and for the objects I created for my blog i.e. logo, ads, etc.
I use the Music folder for the music I download but I organize my music through playlists I create using Foobar. It’s the best and most flexible application to organize your music. I love Spotify but sometimes the playlists I made wouldn’t play offline so I still go back to downloading music. I’m a moody music lover so my Foobar is kind of jam packed with songs from different moods and genres. Plus whenever I hear a great track from Spotify, I immediately download it and assign it to a specific playlist.
I don’t use my Videos folder because I usually delete movies after watching them. For torrent files, I delete them all once they have finished downloading. I made a folder for programs and games I have downloaded.
This site is my ultimate source of random websites that inspire me. Before I was like “let’s keep it random” but after that I kept looking for websites I swear I opened there but I couldn’t find anymore. Maybe I forgot to like it or whatever. I know Stumbleupon has this My Lists feature where you can organize your favorite websites according to genre or type of interest. Another tedious process going over all my previous likes and organizing everything but after that it was worth it. Whenever I find an awesome website I can easily assign them into a “folder” and I can go and check it out again later. Since Stumbleupon is a great website for random stuff, I assigned My Lists into my major interests and I didn’t worry about being too topic-specific because although I’m organizing them, I still wanted to find variety in the folders I create.
It’s been a long while before I checked out my Pinterest account again. I realized that I created pin boards which are no longer of interest to me anymore and that it is in dire need of re-organizing. Besides, I usually got photo organization conflicts with my WeHeartIt account. I tried to learn the difference between the two. Both are websites to pin interesting and inspiring photos but it seems Pinterest is more of the “things I can definitely use later” while WeHeartIt is a little like “things that make me smile today”. If you can relate to that, you’d probably understand why I tried to delete some pin boards that conflict with my WeHeartIt collections. I also opened a new pin board on Fashion Editorials while I maintained my Happy Photos collection. As for interior design, I tried to break it down into more precise boards like Bedroom/Kitchen/LivingRoom and added a separate board for Organizing Tips and interesting new products.
Since I still haven’t mastered the habit of putting everything in its place all the time, I take one day per week to organize everything. This is just so I won’t go overboard with organizing everything. I don’t want to induce an actual obsessive-compulsive disorder.
To all struggling with being organized, I hope this helped. More posts on organization to come. If you have other tips for organizing your laptop and online files, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.