Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Get Organized!! - the Zero Waste Way! - But How?

This is something I really want to do - get organized!

I think I must start keeping track of all the letters and e-mails and stuff... what I wrote to who, and what I still intend to.. all contacts, specifics.. companies and shops where I have talked about some stuff already..

Also, how to keep track of all the excellent websites and blogs etc? (I think there are websites to help with this, but forgot, which! :)

I already have a few folders on the computer and in RL, I'm guessing more can be done.. Computer is not 100% reliable so some RL backup at least would be good.

Being zero waste, I will try to not actually buy any more binders or folders, but either make or reuse! (some are re-used from Mom's old office already, anyway! much better to give 'em a new life than throw away, no?)

Now this quest to Get Organized isn't new. I have checked out Simpleology, the excellent website of GetOrganizedNow, everything I could read online on Getting Things Done, FlyLady's excellent home-organizing tips! - but still!

Some methods (Simpleology, GettingThingsDone) can be incredibly paper-intensive! How is that eco-friendly? (especially if you haven't been able to source completely TCF paper yet!) Or, some people use a PDA! (a little electronic gadget which needs batteries and energy to run, plus toxic chemicals and valuable resources may be necessary to make it, AND there are chances to drop it or damage it or forget it in places! & thus put all those valuable resources to a horrible end!) Okay, some PDA-phones with wonderful multitasking abilities exist too, but surely that would mean abandoning my dear old Nokia? (that still works okay!)

BIG binders are not compatible with any occasional backache and remain on the shelves/unused for too long. So these are best for 'archives' rarely accessed. Tiny folders can get everywhere (& I admit I may have too many already) - easier to use though.

I have even a few binders on organizing, lol!! & I still don't feel very organized! :)

I have been guilty and frustrated with all those little (or bigger) pieces of paper that-still-may-come-handy someday.. (Such as, shopping lists, daily to-do lists (often just left on their own to actually do themselves!) - sometimes even writing things down somehow signalled to my brain - 'It's done! No need to do it now' - out of sight, out of brain!)

So I resorted to good ol' journal! I go through these notebooks pretty quickly though, like 1 a month... So finding chlorine free is really a must..

Am also intrigued by the so-called Hipster PDA too!!

(ballpoint pens and markers are largely a no-no though, they go into landfill! & yes, I have sinned in the past! especially 'gift' one-time-use only pens are a waste of resources! so I try to stay away..)
/the zero waste idea would be to use paper printed on one side or 'scrap' paper - we've done it in the past, including old envelopes and Grandma even sacrificed old bills and such!/

& Interesting idea for a DIY Hipster nano-PDA! (if you have a lot of business cards, which I don't!:)

(okay, the metal staple is not exactly zero waste and reusable, maybe something else could be used?)

I actually had a system in place a few years ago, that kinda worked.. (before it become kinda overwhelming) - so I think it would be great to do it again..

I watched David Allen of the GTD fame & decided a de-cluttered mind is definitely worth it (& already almost filled a small notebook with my to-do's and thoughts! /sigh/)

It is TRUE that my mind was MUCH calmer then, when I had the SYSTEM to rely on, so I'll try to set up one again! (& already started de-cluttering my e-mail inbox!:)

So, how do YOU manage to get yourself organized - possibly the ZERO WASTE way?

Any suggestions Welcome!!

I'm not 'naturally organized' so I need all the help I can get! :)

PS Since this decision I already managed to de-clutter my room a bit, analyze our recycling booklet (results to be posted! some of them shocking!!), unsubscribe a catalogue (& find another to unsubscribe!:) Ahh! Feels a bit better!


  1. I hear ya sister - disorganisation is my middle name LOL!

    I do have a scrap drawer of paper; it is FULL and seems to keep growing, so I never feel guilty about using it up. I do use biros, but actually favour pencils - I love using a sharp pencil.

    I try to store stuff electronically, but I can't read too much on the screen; it doesn't go into my mind in the same way as paper - alas.

    I'm thinking of finding a programme that sends me reminders throughout the day; a bit like a cyber personal secretary.

    Do you have Skype? I was playing with an idea in my head the other way and maybe we could use one another as a guinea pig. Don't want to say too much :) Email me if you have skype

    And, look out for Thursday's over on MZW - they are changing forever and I think it might be JUST what you are looking for LOL!

    Do one more shelf / drawer in your room today ;)

  2. Hi Layla!
    Do you want to know how I organize my mind and my stuff?
    It is very hard for me to have the control on thoughts and things to do.

    I ever had a lot of paper scraps recycled from printed sheets (my old printer prints only on one face). I held them with a clip or with an old plastic binding, brought from office and the cutted in pieces.

    Only in recent times I was reusing the plastic box of a piece of gorgonzola cheese. It has the perfect form to hold the scraps plus a tube of glue stick and a rubber (I know that they aren't zero waste at all, but I prefer to use them till the end instead of throwing 'em away) ad also a pencil sharpener. And the PS box has also a transparent lid, so you can close it and see what you've written on the upper paper scrap. I found it very useful! But this is only for the very short notes.

    To put into order bills, dates and suggestions for the blog or other, I use old school notebooks. It's easy to find them in second hand markets. I collected a great amount of unused stuff from school and university! And also when I worked at office, there was a great waste of paper, so that I tried to reuse it bringing loads at home.

    At last I recycle every single written piece of paper.

    For listing some things to do, especially in the kitchen, I use also a little blackboard and pieces of chalk. I hope that chalk dust (calcium sulfate) is compostable... do you know something about it?

    Stuff in my computer is also very organized in lots of archive folders and hard disks, but it's true what Rae said: to store stuff electronically is not the same thing as registering them on paper. To give a phisical place to things is better then giving them a virtual allocation.

    As Latin teach "verba volant, scripta manent"! LOL

  3. Rae, I'm interested to know what you have in mind!! :) I used to have Skype and can download it again.. (will send you an e-mail)
    Really interested what you have in store for Thursday too!! :)

    "a programme that sends me reminders throughout the day" - Microsoft Outlook does something like that, no? also you could download something like this at Simpleology (a tiny programme that can remind you to take a walk or stretch every 30 minutes or so..)
    You do need to be on the computer for that, which I'm not always.. (especially until Sis manages to fix the laptop..:)

    I wanted to do THE drawer (the dreaded one with lots of financial stuff, bills etc) - but then Little-Miss-not-so-Green popped over & I helped Mom plan the 'lesson'.. (& ended up playing the cookie-box-drum) - & before that, a neighbour was here to help install the drivers (he couldn't) - soo.. (?!)

    I'm still doing research for LMG's present too, lol!! :)

    Hopefully I'll manage to do one more shelf/drawer tomorrow, though time management is actually the cookier part to work on!!
    (I'm quite happy with my room, except for some unmentionable areas lol!)
    But we are brave & we shall strive on!! :)

  4. Danda, Thank you for your tips!! :)

    You have some really good ideas, I wish you could blog about them sometime maybe, with pics?

    "old school notebooks" - are those written in or empty (or just half or 1/3 empty)?
    Do you shred the paper before recycling? some of my journals are quite personal..- or silly:) (& can paper be recycled if shredded?)

    Blackboard and chalk sounds interesting!
    I don't know much about chalk! - But I think it's probably better than markers?
    (I thought chalk was like limestone/calcite - basically isn't limestone added to some soil if it's too acidic or something? so it would depend what kind of soil you have in the garden..)
    hm: - I'm not quite sure which one is blackboard chalk and which one is added to soil to reduce acidity.. maybe more research is needed:)
    There is not a lot of the dust, I think.. so it probably doesn't matter so much..
    At least you don't have markers to throw away though! Brava!!
    I used to prefer chalk to markers too.. Unfortunately have a few of those too.. (since I heard some can be refilled or recycled, but I don't know much about that! or if it's possible here..?)