Dr. Disorganization or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb that’s Apparently Gone Off in My Apartment
posted February 19, 2013 8:09 AM by Carolyn Lucas
This winter, Boston has gotten snow – a lot of snow. Like, an inordinate amount of snow. And I am from Wisconsin. What a smart move, to the one place on earth that apparently gets more snow than my hometown.
With that being said, I have spent a lot of time at home lately – because winter makes me feel cozy and antisocial; because I’ve been snowed in; because I’ve been doing all of my work at home, take your pick. But as I walked through my apartment most recently, taking a break from Describing and Arranging a hypothetical archival collection for a class, I stopped in front of my personal bookshelf. I found myself wondering how exactly I had managed to arrange all of my personal belongings so that I can find them. If someone came into my house and wanted to find, say, my old wedding planner – would I be able to locate it? Would I be able to tell someone else how to locate it? Where had I put it, and why – was there logic behind my decision, or convenience, or laziness? (Um…after this experiment, I determined it was usually a combination of laziness, convenience, and aesthetics. I hope I never have to create a finding aid for my bookshelf.)
This led to a moment of introspection for me as a future archivist, trying to determine how this professional path would influence my personal organization. Would I want to reorganize my dishes according to date of accumulation? Is perhaps organizing my books by size not the best way? Maybe they should be organized by topic. But then, what topic does “Carolyn’s Day Planner 2011” fall into?! (Cue Small Panic Attack.)
I am sure that by the point that I arrange and describe/organize things professionally, I will be less concerned about my personal belongings. I imagine I will be so tired of organizing things by the end of the day that all semblance of organization will go out the wayside. Or maybe not…?
All I know for the moment is that if you walk into my house, I can find any single piece of my belongings, whether on a shelf, in a closet, or packed away in the basement, within ten minutes’ time. …And the finding aid? Yeah, it’s in my brain, baby.