The challenge is real, and so are we! If you're a wiccan or pagan, you're probably experiencing at least a small amount of difficulty in keeping your papers, projects, rocks, crystals, candles, and altar etcetera organized.
We're here to help you, not intimidate you, and in that spirit we offer this glorious picture of one half of Raven in a World Tree's desks so that you know that any tips we offer you work not because we're perfect and hyper-organized, but because we're, well, just human and have learned from experience. So, here's five things that have worked for me.
1. Tidy regularly (you may laugh now). Seriously, it's easy to just stand in front of your mess and cry, but don't underestimate the power of even a five-minute tidy done on a regular basis. I could have my desk clean in five minutes if I wanted to. Which I'll want to, because it's on my to-do list. Blasting ABBA, or Tool, or something immensely dramatic really helps. Ironically, I've taken my tidying attitude from various Christian homeschooling books (and I believe originally FlyLady), who call it a "House Blessing." Because really, it is. We take the time to smudge, to call in a circle or to set crystals in various locations to affect the energy of our living space, so why not just also "purify" it by actually putting things away and making it look nicer?
2. Keep a book list. I used to have piles of books lying around because I was going to read them and knew I'd forget about them if I put them in the shelves. Having the books out was a bit of a mess, and it also made me feel like crap, because I couldn't read all those books! Now, what I do is keep a list in my bullet journal of all the books I want to read. The books can get put away, and instead of feeling bad that I haven't gotten to them, I get to look at my list and either check stuff off or get surprised by what I "get to read" next.
3. Have things where you can see them, organized by function. I used to have many of my stones in little organza bags, and found I didn't use them enough (or at all). I decided to take the stones I use for the moon phases out of their bags and put them in a plastic organizer so it was easy to grab and replace the right ones. Others are grouped by function--like for rituals, for divination, or for seasonal celebrations. My favorite hack is a large, wooden printer's tray that I have on a dresser by my bed, that has all sorts of goodies in it. This way, in the morning, I can pick what I want to carry with me or work with through the day.
4. Keep a bin for "in use." There's always stuff I'm currently working with, or intend to be working with soon. Rather than having them lying around (really, none of the stuff on my desk falls into this category), I got a plastic bin that I can keep by my desk so that the stuff is nearby, and easy to find, but not all over the place. This is great for things like seasonal items I've ordered for the upcoming Sabbat, or class tools, or whatnot.
5. Stock up on pretty storage at Michaels'. They're always having some sort of sale there, and if you've got extra storage options already set up, then you're not going to get too far behind. I found some great antique-looking fake books that I'm currently using to store tins of herbs and unused journals. I'm pretty sure I've got an extra one that I can use for all the craft cord I've got cluttering my desk now. You can also use them for candles, and to store tools you use for a specific function -- I've got my Moon Journal, moon cloth, pen, and moon-related stuff in a sweet-looking blue one, so everything's ready to go at the new and full moons.
Now I'm going to clean my desk. I'd love to hear your tips for storing and organizing your things. There's more to come!