top 10 things I learned on holidays. His suggestion: no matter how long or fabulous the holiday, the second day back at work is always hard. I agree, but told him that nobody does 11 point lists. They just look wrong. So I came up with another one, to make it a nice round dozen.
12. The length of the holiday will be in direct proportion to the time it takes one to unpack one's bags after one returns home. To whit: if you go on holidays for one week and return on Sunday, you can be pretty sure those bags will still be sitting there come the following Sunday. And they will always contain three times as many clothes as you ever actually wore on said holiday.
But, having come up with that one, I decided that I would take a stand this time. I would unpack those bags. Today. I would... I would... I just...
I needed help. So I turned to a book sent to me recently by one of my favourite contacts, Lissanne Oliver. I call on Lissanne when I need help with the organisation/decluttering/simplifying end of the feature story spectrum. She is, quite simply, great at it, and gives good quote. Win/win for me. The only downside to our conversations is that she's usually saying things like 'People need to realise they can't work surrounded by piles of paper, lip balms, paper clips, nail scissors, random cables, books that need reading, articles that need referencing...' right while I'm sitting at a desk surrounded by all of those things.
Lissanne's book Sorted! is an action-stations guide to being organised. It has everything you need to clear space in your home, right down to the time-frames required to fulfill each step she outlines. Admittedly, there is not a section devoted to Unpacking After Your Holiday but much of the focus is on clearing living spaces - and given that the unpacked bags were interrupting a) traffic flow and b) air flow, I was able to use Lissanne's editing, filing and storing techniques to get the job done. Okay, half done. The Misters are now able to find their socks and undies for the morning. Me, maybe not so much.
It's progress, though, and that's what counts. Oh, and the best tip Lissanne ever gave me for a story (as in one that I actually use all the time)? Open your mail over the bin. Dump the stuff you don't need. Keep the stuff you do. Guaranteed to reduce the amount of paper entering your house.
Lissanne Oliver is joining forces with two international productivity and organising experts for the Six Steps To Your Organised Life workshops in Sydney (October 22) and Melbourne (October 29). Full details here. You can find out more about Lissanne's book and her organising work here.