a rack of bags to get me out the door fast

by rebecca on October 9, 2012

Post image for a rack of bags to get me out the door fast

My 4-step philosophy applied quickly so I can be out the door to any meeting or hike on a moment’s notice. Plus, I love bags. What can I say? I’m a bag-lady.

Step 1: Identify the Mess

  • Bags are clogging up the entry to my mudroom. Why so many bags??

Step 2: Notice How the Mess Arrives

  • Moments of transition.
  • Something needs to go to the garage, but I don’t want to walk outside to take it there.
  • Something needs to go to goodwill but I’m not driving there now.
  • One bag is for yoga.
  • Things collect because I need to return them to a friend.
  • I have a meeting and need to take things there, so I stuff them in a bag waiting for the meeting.

I ask myself why I’m keeping things. (Noticing is careful work!)

  • 4 of the 7 bags are destined for returns of one kind or another and they just haven’t made it on the list.
  • Before I could recycle the computer parts I had to destroy the hard drives.
  • One bag has my son’s belt from when I could still pick him up. Awwww.
  • One bag has candy wrappers, a used Starbucks cup and a dead pen. I guess the trash from the car didn’t make it all the way to the trashcan. Good thing I kept this.

Step 3: Address the Mess

  • I go to my calendar and schedule the goodwill, a return to the hardware store, waiting for the magic “someday” clearly wasn’t working.
  • I head outside to hammer on the computer parts. This release of aggression is amazing!

I Name one of the racks “Better.”

I call it this for my dog whose name is Yedder. Lots of people think her name is “Better”. Since it’s her towel and leash that live her primarily and I think the rack looks Better when that’s all that lives here, I’ll call it that to help me remember. (Do you know about the children’s book that inspired me to name things in my home? It’s a delight.)

  • One is for “home” storage, the other for “going out” storage.
  • Things on their way to the garage.
  • Dog things

I dub the other the Going Out

  • My Board Member Bag: houses everything for my meetings
  • Yoga bag: have bag, will bend
  • Backpack: loaded and ready to hike
  • Errand bag: Houses everything for running errands, including returning potluck dishes (these linger on my mudroom bench, how about you??)

Step 4: Tending the Mess

Psst: this is always the hardest one for me.

  • Anything that gets hung on the Better Rack can live there No Longer than 36 hours.
  • Unless it belongs to the dog.
  • I manage to make it to the outside garage once every 3 days.
  • If it’s not one of the named bags, it doesn’t get a home on the Going Out Rack

As soon as I said that last one, I knew I couldn’t keep it. I’m a bag lady. It’s part of my nature.

Part of tending is anticipating where the system will break down and planning for it.

What to do when Foreign Bags show up on the Going Out Rack

  • Adopt or
  • Deport
  • Do this activity monthly during a 15-minute spiff session

I love this system. My life in bags. See where I was 1 year ago, and you’ll know why I needed to make a promise to myself I could keep. I promise to post a year from now to let you know how it’s going.

Identify a small project, notice where problems arise, address the mess by creating a system just for me and then tend my own system, with an awareness where I’m likely to stray and then can return.

Where are your small messes? Is tending the hardest part for you as well? Do you have a secret desire to organize your life in bags?

I am participating in 31-days of Soulful Cleansing. This project is the collaborative brainchild of The Nester. Join her here and see all the other 31-day projects.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon October 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

So funny how we end up with all these little meta-tasks, like scrubbing a hard driv before you can toss the computer, that go with just trying to get rid of our stuff. It’s no wonder clutter happens!


rebecca October 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Yes! The list piles up…so we feel buried.


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