Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Apartment Makeover

And speaking of photos that I’ve been meaning to blog about, remember that time I said I was going to spend the first half of my Christmas vacation organizing my apartment? I totally did that. And I took photos!

My desk place that I stored “papers that I’m going to file someday” – before photo:

Desk - before

My desk – after photo:

Desk - after

Notice my corkboard of inspiration to the left of my desk – it contains my running medals, LG4CF player ID (not seen in photo), Polar Bear Swim button, a poster of yoga poses, and some inspiration photos. My diplomas remind me that I can really do this school thing, and the giant whiteboard is ready for to do lists/brainstorming.

Bookshelves – before photo:

Bookshelves - before

Bookshelves – after photo:

Bookshelves

And here’s my closet organization system – places to set out my outfits for every day of the week – and I actually have two of these in my closet, so I can set out two weeks worth of outfits at one time!

Closet Organization

Let the school year begin!

Whiteboard

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Organization Queen

So, I decided to take holidays for these next two weeks, but not to go to Ontario for Christmas. I mean, I really enjoy seeing my family at Christmas, but trips to Ontario are *exhausting* because I have so many people to see and it ends up being a lot of scheduling, running around to see people, entertaining, more running around and I end up coming home 10x more exhausted than when I left on “vacation.” Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends, but knowing that I’m about to start school in January, I decided it that it made a lot more sense to spend my time off at home getting rested and organized for what is definitely going to be a busy new year1.

So, what is it that I plan to do with my time off?

BusyMy first priority is to organize my apartment. For example, I need to turn my desk from its current state as a piece of furniture buried under a giant pile of papers that “I’ll file later” to an actual functioning workspace. As I see it, my organizational tasks this week are:

  • sort through massive piles of paper:
    • all unnecessary papers thrown in the recycling (I’m looking at you, research articles from my PhD that I completed 5+ years ago)
    • all necessary papers filed in the appropriate file folder
  • organize my bookshelves, donating any books that I no longer need/want
  • fix clothes that need fixing2, purge clothes that don’t fit me3 and shoes that are worn out (to the landfill, sadly.)
  • review and update my budget
And speaking of organizing, I know that I’m going to need to be *very* organized in order to handle a full-time job, plus school, plus having some semblance of a social life. I’m thinking that the main things I’ll need to do are being ruthless about my schedule – setting aside time for homework, exercise4, and date nights – and getting an effective routine going. Things that I’ve found to be effective in keeping me organized and efficient, when I actually do them, include::
  • planning out my outfits on Sunday night for the the following week – it’s unbelievable how much trouble I have deciding what to wear in the morning!
  • cooking for the week on the weekend – I love having leftovers for lunch and especially for weekends when I have classes, I’m going to need to have prepared food on hand so that I don’t end up spending a fortune on, and gaining 50 lbs from, restaurants
  • going to bed at a decent hour – I am really bad for getting too little sleep during the week and then sleeping in on the weekends5. This won’t be an option on weeks that I have class at 8 am on Saturday and Sunday!
So I figure that after organizing my apartment, I’ll get my other systems set up – organize a spot in my closet for setting out my outfits, ensure my kitchen is appropriately set up for maximum efficiency, setting up my calendar with spots for homework time, times for going out for a run, etc.

I’m sure this sounds like the worst. vacation. ever. to most of you. But my nerdy nature is actually a bit thrilled to have some time to remove the clutter from both my apartment and my mind! Also, there will be plenty of time for fun – as I mentioned above, I’ll be spending Christmas with Devon and his family on the Island, so there will be family festivities, plus a chance to visit the Bard & Banker which has the beer that is so delicious that I want to marry it. I also hope to get to La Belle Patate, a Montreal-style deli where I can enjoy a Montreal smoked meat sandwich and, if their Facebook page tells the truth, a spruce beer!!!

This shaping up to be quite a nice vacation!

Image Credit: Posted by A. J. Cann on Flickr.
  1. Happily, Devon has offered to share his family with me this Christmas, so I will still get to enjoy family festivities! []
  2. I have a few items of clothing with loose buttons or ripped seams that I can easily put back into the rotation with a few stitches. []
  3. By donating them to a thrift store. []
  4. Exercise being my most effective way of de-stressing and rather non-negotiable for a public health nerd such as myself []
  5. And yes, I know that you can’t truly “catch up” on missed sleep, but I do at least “recover” from the sleep deprivation of the previous week. []