January is always the time of year when we look forward to a fresh start. When you are a semi-packrat like me, this can get difficult. As I look around my office, I bet 80% of the things I see have not been used by me in over a year. So why do I keep them around??? Good question.
To avoid ending up on an episode of “Hoarders” I started implementing the “One Box Plan” to keep myself organized. Here is how it works:
Once a month, take a cardboard box and fill it up with stuff from your office – old files, old software boxes, basically anything that has dust on it! Label the box with the month and year and stick it up in your attic. This gets it out of your office, but allows you to feel like you still have it- in case you need it. Keep doing this every month and as long as you aren’t bringing in a TON of new junk every month, you should start whittling away at any clutter you have.
Now, your attic will start filling up at this pace, so you have to set a timetable…. I use one year. Once a box has been up there for a year, it is fair game to be thrown away. When I started doing this, I figured I would constantly be climbing up into the office to get stuff from the boxes – but I haven’t done it once.
I have a similar plan with magazines. I’ve got this tendency to keep magazines forever. Now if I have anything over a year, I toss it. If there is a killer image or article I can’t live without, I’ll tear that page out first and put in a file folder. That way, I don’t feel so bad about tossing the magazine. By the way… can you guess how many times I’ve gone back and looked at that folder of pages? If you guessed “NEVER” – you are starting to figure this all out!
I think that just doing these minor changes will slowly allow you to see big changes – you just have to get the ball rolling.
Do you have any other ideas to help your fellow photographers keep organized? If so, I’d love to hear them! Take a minute to leave a comment and share your ideas!