Being organized and being pretty don’t have to go hand-in-hand, but it really helps. I recently treated myself to a fun class, and one of the first things our teacher told us was to get a pretty notebook. Cynic that I am, I kind of snorted at that, but two days later I found myself at Papersource plopping down twenty-five bucks for a KOLO linen three-ring binder.* Let me tell you why it was worth it. I put all of my assignments in it and left it out on the coffee table. I wasn’t constantly trying to stash some ugly vinyl binder somewhere out of eyesight and losing track of where that spot was! It looks so nice I want to grab it and read what’s inside.
Unlike Flavia, who showed us her Style Files last week, my notes for blogging are usually scribbled on scraps, post its, paper-clipped to lampshades, stashed in a folder I forget is in my filing cabinet, etc. I decided to bite the bullet and splurge on a blogging files binder. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to go back to Papersource; I’m not sure. However, now when I mercilessly rip sheets out of magazines because they inspire an idea, they don’t wind up crammed between books when I need to pick up. I stash them in plastic sleeves.
Finally, (OK, I swear, after this, no more Papersource for me for AT LEAST a month – that place is my own personal crack den), I took a good hard look at my most hated binder. I’ve had the actual binder since grad school. I think it still says “QUEST” on the side, which was this stupid kumbayah snoozer of a class we budding landscape architects had to take with all of the architects, urban planners, and preservationists our first semester. The lectures were OK sometimes, but the early morning discussion sections – I’m still pissed that they robbed me of hours of my life. The point is, the cheapo hideous binder already has bad juju all over it. In its repurposed life, it says “2008 Expenses” on the cover in Sharpie, and it has two and a half year’s worth of tax receipts in there. I dread having to use it. I actually keep it hidden so I don’t have to think about doing my taxes. Now it’s time to say goodbye to it and hello to the new KOLO home for my tax crap. Of course it’s black! I think I’ll put a skull and crossbones in the square on the front.
So, too review, here’s why you should organize with pretty stuff:
1) You won’t lose it because won’t be throwing it under the sofa and out of sight all the time.
2) You will actually want to look at it and interact with it, because it’s right there in your face and you’ll be admiring it.
3) It will make you actually keep your stuff all in one designated place.
4) It gives you an excuse to go to Papersource and spend obscene amounts of money. OK, maybe this one should not be in the pro column.
Sayanora Quest Class/I.R.S. Folder!
*The Unclutterer recommended these in this New York Times article a month or so ago, and I had been unable to get them out of my head. They make really beautiful photo albums as well.