amanda_lodden: (Hammer Time)
I've been on a kick lately to declutter. The goal is simple: spend at least 15 minutes a day organizing or trashing things. The point isn't so much to magically get organized all of a sudden, it's to develop habits. Even so, I've found myself willing to spend quite a bit more time, especially since early on the visual benefits are very obvious.

Today, I moved the last stack of paper from a particular spot on my desk, and discovered the SD card wallet I misplaced a year or so ago. Since some of the SD cards are full of files and the whole wallet represents hundreds of hours of effort, finding it is a major win.
amanda_lodden: (Hammer Time)
I've been on a kick lately to declutter. The goal is simple: spend at least 15 minutes a day organizing or trashing things. The point isn't so much to magically get organized all of a sudden, it's to develop habits. Even so, I've found myself willing to spend quite a bit more time, especially since early on the visual benefits are very obvious.

Today, I moved the last stack of paper from a particular spot on my desk, and discovered the SD card wallet I misplaced a year or so ago. Since some of the SD cards are full of files and the whole wallet represents hundreds of hours of effort, finding it is a major win.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
In the course of packing for GenCon, I discovered that the pens I keep in my laptop case/carryon have leaked. Rather a lot, in fact.

Of course, I discovered this the hard way. Is it possible to ever discover this sort of thing the easy way?

So, now my hand is blue. After a half-dozen Clorox wipes, I think I've got all the ink of out the bag itself, and as much as will come off of the headphones I also keep in that pocket. (Fortunately, the stupidly-expensive iPod that lives in that pocket has its own little sleeve within the pocket to live in, and escaped the mess. I would be decidedly put out if I had to replace it.) Neither the wipes nor scrubbing with lots of soap will take off the last remnants of blue from my skin, though.

On a related note, I'm missing an entire folder's worth of CDs, some of which I wanted to rip songs off of to put on the iPod for the trip. This has largely made me want to scream and start going through everything we own and cleaning it out/digitizing it/labeling it/etc. While that particular mood is often helpful in the long run, it really doesn't mix well with the "have to be ready to leave in a day and a half" mode that I ought to be in.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
In the course of packing for GenCon, I discovered that the pens I keep in my laptop case/carryon have leaked. Rather a lot, in fact.

Of course, I discovered this the hard way. Is it possible to ever discover this sort of thing the easy way?

So, now my hand is blue. After a half-dozen Clorox wipes, I think I've got all the ink of out the bag itself, and as much as will come off of the headphones I also keep in that pocket. (Fortunately, the stupidly-expensive iPod that lives in that pocket has its own little sleeve within the pocket to live in, and escaped the mess. I would be decidedly put out if I had to replace it.) Neither the wipes nor scrubbing with lots of soap will take off the last remnants of blue from my skin, though.

On a related note, I'm missing an entire folder's worth of CDs, some of which I wanted to rip songs off of to put on the iPod for the trip. This has largely made me want to scream and start going through everything we own and cleaning it out/digitizing it/labeling it/etc. While that particular mood is often helpful in the long run, it really doesn't mix well with the "have to be ready to leave in a day and a half" mode that I ought to be in.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
My bookmarks overflowth.

Since I use Google Reader to keep up with things I read routinely, my bookmarks end up being one-use pages. Usually, I bookmarked them because I wanted to remind myself to do something-- there's craft projects and recipes bookmarked, and some articles that I think would be useful but not right then. Sometimes, I bookmark pages that sparked an idea for a journal entry, but often they just end up being one-or-two paragraph responses from me, hardly enough to warrant a full entry of their own. I'll get to those some day.

Sometimes, I don't know why I bookmarked them, or I bookmarked them for fairly simple reasons. This post it about THOSE bookmarks.

I don't know exactly why I bookmarked RedBubble. I'm sure I bookmarked it for the T-shirts, because I have a funny-T-shirt fetish, but it seems to be more of an art site where you can get T-shirts than a T-shirt site. Nice artwork, though.

Meeting Jesus isn't in my bookmarks, but that's because I just found it while I was writing this. Pastor Alan is an old friend of mine from college. He leans a little towards the odd sometimes (he has said it himself, using "Come on, I can find God in a cheeseburger!" as his proof), but the story is lovely.

I'm very fond of Just One Club Card. I borrowed Brian and Julianna's laminator, and have been making double-sided key fobs to replace the single-sided (and much thicker) ones. I started doing it because the ink had worn off on my Staples card, but I discovered that I like the double-sided-ness part a lot.

Bug Me Not is a nifty idea, though I confess that it's been rolling around in my bookmarks for years and I've never actually remembered to use it. However, I like the concept of shared logins for places that demand them for no good reason. Mostly I deal with it by ignoring the site (or giving in and registering, and then spam-filtering any email that appears from them).

These Star Trek Inspirational Posters make me laugh every time I revisit them. Some day, I'm going to get a nice big poster-sized print of the Technofear one and hang it up in the office.

I am absolutely certain that I am not Green Enough To Go Gray. I started going gray when I was 20, and I'm still too damned young to have earned as many gray hairs as I have. However, I probably bookmarked this to remind myself to look into Aubrey Organics and see if I liked their hair color enough to use it. I did, and it turns out that they only have two colors, both of them much darker than the color I use. Ah well.

I'd really like to master the art of only one carry-on. I did fairly well on my last trip, using a single suitcase plus carryon for 2 and a half weeks, but I still ended up with a lot of things I could have left home. My new backpack laptop bag helped considerably though (it was the carryon), and as I get used to using it I suspect I could pare down its contents even more. It does have the best packing advice I've ever heard: "If you think something might come in handy, leave it at home. If you know you can't get along without it, bring it."

One of my ongoing projects has been to clear out the excess clutter surrounding me. One of my worst guilty pleasures is magazines-- be it fluffy gossip rags, "women's" magazines full of articles on cleaning and recipes I'll never use, or homeowner magazines full of articles on building a woodshop and home-improvement projects I'll never do, I just can't resist them. They generally don't include any information I didn't already know, but there's something soothing about reading through them just the same. As a compromise, I'm trying to stick with digital versions of them.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
My bookmarks overflowth.

Since I use Google Reader to keep up with things I read routinely, my bookmarks end up being one-use pages. Usually, I bookmarked them because I wanted to remind myself to do something-- there's craft projects and recipes bookmarked, and some articles that I think would be useful but not right then. Sometimes, I bookmark pages that sparked an idea for a journal entry, but often they just end up being one-or-two paragraph responses from me, hardly enough to warrant a full entry of their own. I'll get to those some day.

Sometimes, I don't know why I bookmarked them, or I bookmarked them for fairly simple reasons. This post it about THOSE bookmarks.

I don't know exactly why I bookmarked RedBubble. I'm sure I bookmarked it for the T-shirts, because I have a funny-T-shirt fetish, but it seems to be more of an art site where you can get T-shirts than a T-shirt site. Nice artwork, though.

Meeting Jesus isn't in my bookmarks, but that's because I just found it while I was writing this. Pastor Alan is an old friend of mine from college. He leans a little towards the odd sometimes (he has said it himself, using "Come on, I can find God in a cheeseburger!" as his proof), but the story is lovely.

I'm very fond of Just One Club Card. I borrowed Brian and Julianna's laminator, and have been making double-sided key fobs to replace the single-sided (and much thicker) ones. I started doing it because the ink had worn off on my Staples card, but I discovered that I like the double-sided-ness part a lot.

Bug Me Not is a nifty idea, though I confess that it's been rolling around in my bookmarks for years and I've never actually remembered to use it. However, I like the concept of shared logins for places that demand them for no good reason. Mostly I deal with it by ignoring the site (or giving in and registering, and then spam-filtering any email that appears from them).

These Star Trek Inspirational Posters make me laugh every time I revisit them. Some day, I'm going to get a nice big poster-sized print of the Technofear one and hang it up in the office.

I am absolutely certain that I am not Green Enough To Go Gray. I started going gray when I was 20, and I'm still too damned young to have earned as many gray hairs as I have. However, I probably bookmarked this to remind myself to look into Aubrey Organics and see if I liked their hair color enough to use it. I did, and it turns out that they only have two colors, both of them much darker than the color I use. Ah well.

I'd really like to master the art of only one carry-on. I did fairly well on my last trip, using a single suitcase plus carryon for 2 and a half weeks, but I still ended up with a lot of things I could have left home. My new backpack laptop bag helped considerably though (it was the carryon), and as I get used to using it I suspect I could pare down its contents even more. It does have the best packing advice I've ever heard: "If you think something might come in handy, leave it at home. If you know you can't get along without it, bring it."

One of my ongoing projects has been to clear out the excess clutter surrounding me. One of my worst guilty pleasures is magazines-- be it fluffy gossip rags, "women's" magazines full of articles on cleaning and recipes I'll never use, or homeowner magazines full of articles on building a woodshop and home-improvement projects I'll never do, I just can't resist them. They generally don't include any information I didn't already know, but there's something soothing about reading through them just the same. As a compromise, I'm trying to stick with digital versions of them.

Lighter

Sep. 28th, 2006 04:57 pm
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm trying an experiment to see how little I can carry.

For I-don't-want-to-count-how-many years I have, like most women, carried a purse. While I've refused to ever carry the huge purses that my mother and grandmother always carried, my "little" purses have always been crammed. In high school, friends and some acquaintances knew that if you needed something, Amanda probably had it. Band-aid? No problem, it's in the small first aid kit. Lotion? You bet. Travel chess game? Of course. Book to read? One for me, and probably a second as well that I'd lend out (if I knew I'd get it back, anyway).

While I did ditch the travel chess game and books, when I cleaned out my purse it contained the first-aid kit, a small bottle of lotion, 4 bank debit cards (one for each of the two business accounts, one for my personal checking account and one for the personal checking account shared with John), 2 checkbooks (one for each personal account), 5 credit cards (one business card, the American Express card with a good reward system that I prefer to use, a Mastercard for the places that won't take the Amex, and two store cards that had their own in-house reward system), about a dozen store-reward cards (mostly grocery and drugstore), health insurance card, blood donor card, driver's license, 2 tubes of lipstick (I wear makeup maybe three or four times a year), a travel tin of dental floss that had come open and was a tangled mess in the bottom of my purse, and some cash. Probably a few more things that I've blocked out, too. It did not contain any change; I always end up putting that in a pocket and dumping it into a container at home.

But when I travel, I leave nearly everything at home and travel with just a small wallet. Even that wallet was too large, and when I went to GenCon in August I bought a smaller wallet that fits into my jeans pocket nicely.

It finally occurred to me-- if I can do it when I travel, why can't I do it always? The biggest answer is the stupid reward cards, of course. But ultimately, I rarely use the rewards, because the rewards come in the form of a piece of paper that has to be taken somewhere before an expiration date, and I never remember to do it. So I ditched anything that would give me a non-instant "reward" (except the Amex, which sends a check in the mail). For everything else, I've either dug up the key fob that came with the card, or I'm applying for a new card to get a key fob. If it doesn't have something I can put on a keyring, it doesn't get used.

While I was at it, I took all the keys I never use off my keyring, and split office keys from personal keys. I now carry only:

1 small wallet, containing cash, my driver's license, the Amex, the Mastercard, one business credit card, a health insurance card, and my blood donor card (which I'm debating about dropping, but it's nice to have something indicating my rare blood type on me somewhere).

1 key ring containing car keys, house keys, and all those "reward card" key fobs.

1 key ring that splits into two pieces, containing business keys-- my office, post office boxes, the main office door-- on one half, and a USB thumb drive containing an Evernote database (and the install file, should I need to use it in a different computer)

It's ... different. I've been doing it for about a week, and while I love having less to lug around, I still always feel like I'm missing something. I'm constantly checking myself-- do I have my car keys?

Lighter

Sep. 28th, 2006 04:57 pm
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm trying an experiment to see how little I can carry.

For I-don't-want-to-count-how-many years I have, like most women, carried a purse. While I've refused to ever carry the huge purses that my mother and grandmother always carried, my "little" purses have always been crammed. In high school, friends and some acquaintances knew that if you needed something, Amanda probably had it. Band-aid? No problem, it's in the small first aid kit. Lotion? You bet. Travel chess game? Of course. Book to read? One for me, and probably a second as well that I'd lend out (if I knew I'd get it back, anyway).

While I did ditch the travel chess game and books, when I cleaned out my purse it contained the first-aid kit, a small bottle of lotion, 4 bank debit cards (one for each of the two business accounts, one for my personal checking account and one for the personal checking account shared with John), 2 checkbooks (one for each personal account), 5 credit cards (one business card, the American Express card with a good reward system that I prefer to use, a Mastercard for the places that won't take the Amex, and two store cards that had their own in-house reward system), about a dozen store-reward cards (mostly grocery and drugstore), health insurance card, blood donor card, driver's license, 2 tubes of lipstick (I wear makeup maybe three or four times a year), a travel tin of dental floss that had come open and was a tangled mess in the bottom of my purse, and some cash. Probably a few more things that I've blocked out, too. It did not contain any change; I always end up putting that in a pocket and dumping it into a container at home.

But when I travel, I leave nearly everything at home and travel with just a small wallet. Even that wallet was too large, and when I went to GenCon in August I bought a smaller wallet that fits into my jeans pocket nicely.

It finally occurred to me-- if I can do it when I travel, why can't I do it always? The biggest answer is the stupid reward cards, of course. But ultimately, I rarely use the rewards, because the rewards come in the form of a piece of paper that has to be taken somewhere before an expiration date, and I never remember to do it. So I ditched anything that would give me a non-instant "reward" (except the Amex, which sends a check in the mail). For everything else, I've either dug up the key fob that came with the card, or I'm applying for a new card to get a key fob. If it doesn't have something I can put on a keyring, it doesn't get used.

While I was at it, I took all the keys I never use off my keyring, and split office keys from personal keys. I now carry only:

1 small wallet, containing cash, my driver's license, the Amex, the Mastercard, one business credit card, a health insurance card, and my blood donor card (which I'm debating about dropping, but it's nice to have something indicating my rare blood type on me somewhere).

1 key ring containing car keys, house keys, and all those "reward card" key fobs.

1 key ring that splits into two pieces, containing business keys-- my office, post office boxes, the main office door-- on one half, and a USB thumb drive containing an Evernote database (and the install file, should I need to use it in a different computer)

It's ... different. I've been doing it for about a week, and while I love having less to lug around, I still always feel like I'm missing something. I'm constantly checking myself-- do I have my car keys?

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