Saturday, July 17, 2004


OK, I admit it. I need some advice.

Today I lost something that I really shouldn't have lost. It won't kill me and it won't stop me getting to Verbier on Monday. But it's daft. And it has enough bearing on the world beyond my four walls to make me look a trifle silly. I don't know if it is entirely my own fault or if Tom has been tidying up over-zealously, since I am not a great one for throwing anything away and something appears to have been thrown when it shouldn't have been. Nevertheless...

...I have a problem with piles of paper. They sit on my desk waiting to be organised. Then they transfer to the study rocking chair and thence to the floor. Occasionally I load them, unexplored, into large plastic boxes from Ikea. Meanwhile the CDs are breeding. I honestly think they engage in some form of plastic cell multiplication when my back is turned. As for the magazines, they arrive in a rush once a month; I look through them and try to keep track of the ones that contain my articles and dispose, eventually, of those that don't...eventually......

On TV recently there was a series called 'Life Laundry'. A cheery presenter visited families whose houses had been taken over by their excessive stuff, and helped them to get rid of it. I enjoyed this mainly because I could see that my mess problem isn't so bad that I need to call in the BBC. It was also interesting to discover that most of these families had some kind of past of which they just couldn't let go and which lay at the root of the trouble.

I'm good at living in the present and I do know that it isn't good enough just to clear the study twice a year, once at Christmas and once at - er - some other time as yet to be determined. Yet the task becomes so daunting that I keep putting it off. I'd rather do anything else than face it.

Does anybody have any tips on good psychological tricks to help oneself get organised? If so, please send them my way!