Organizing systems are essential to getting and keeping you organized. This is true when organizing anything including paperwork, important documents, items in your kitchen, bathroom and garage, and your clothing. An effective organizing system is one that will allow you and others to:
- Retrieve things easily and when you need them.
- Return things to their “right” place or home.
- Maintain clear surfaces in any room.
- Save time rather than waste it looking for things.
- Save money rather than spend it buying duplicates of items that you already have.
Organizing systems – 3 Myths
“Right” place: The “right” place to keep things organized is the one that is easy for you to use. That is, you know what you keep organized in that place and can retrieve and return it to that place. If you open the mail in the kitchen instead of your office the “right” place for organizing your mail is in the kitchen.
Label everything: If you are able to apply logic to where and how things are organized you will be able to minimize the need to label containers. Items that are used frequently should be visible and whenever possible, at eye level. For instance, don’t put your daily and weekly files in the bottom file drawer. Using clear and open containers increases the visibility of what is in the container and decreases the need to label.
Color coding: Color coding is not important or even helpful if you are color blind! It can also be too rigid and overly detailed. Color coding file folders and other storage containers can be helpful in specific situations. For instance, larger containers used to store holiday items that are only accessed on occasion, are easily identified if the color is related to that specific holiday. Most of the time, clear bins enhance visibility and allow you to identify where the items that you need are stored.
Organizing systems – Maintenance
Organizing systems become disorganized when they are not regularly maintained. Organizing is a process similar to getting fit. This means that you are never finished and need to maintain the system. Organizing tips for maintaining your organizing systems:
- Declutter regularly. Don’t just keep adding things to folders and containers. Schedule time on a regular basis to review what is in the containers and get rid of unused and unneeded items.
- Adopt a less is more attitude. Remember that you don’t want to keep outdated information. For example, don’t keep old recipes that you will never use or don’t match your current dietary style. Downsize photos by discarding the duplicates and blurry ones.
- Use shallow containers to temporarily store reading materials so that the pile remains manageable. Read the magazines, newspapers and catalogs then discard.
April 29, 2013Do you have a closet full of clothes but tend to wear the same items and outfits most of the time? Try these strategies for wearing all of your clothes in new ways! Purge those items you know that you will never wear, or will never fit. Decide how you want to organize your closet: by color? ... Read more
April 28, 2013The process of letting go is different for each of us. Are we doing it by choice, or is it because of a difficult situation? Either way, here are some guiding questions to ask yourself as you go through the process: 1. Do I really need it? 2. When was the last time that I used it? 3. ... Read more
April 24, 2013Do you get those inserts with your statements encouraging you to go paperless? Outside In Approach TIP #1 – Implement the “1-at-a-Time Rule”. Get into the habit of going paperless, 1 account at a time. It only takes a couple of minutes. Outside In Approach TIP #2 – Create & practice your “Optimal Habits”. Every 6 mos. ... Read more
April 23, 2013It doesn’t matter if you use paper or digital formats to create and update your To-do list. The Outside In Approach recommends that you commit to the following time management principles: First – Use your calendar to schedule items on your To-do list.You will get your projects done if they’re on your schedule. Second – Be clear ... Read more
April 19, 2013The benefits of organizing include ease of use, greater productivity, and safety. Think about these aspects when organizing your travel and packing: WHEELS, BACK PACKS, OVER THE SHOULDER BAGS Select luggage that has wheels that move in all directions, not just forward. You’ll maneuver traffic in the terminal with ease. Consider using a back pack as your ... Read more
April 17, 2013Keeping it simple makes travel much easier. Some useful tips for organizing: 1. Use a checklist. During the trip, note the items you didn’t need to bring & add the ones you wished you brought with you. Revise the list when you get home. 2. Use a color theme for your clothing. This will enable you ... Read more
April 16, 2013What if your flight is delayed or cancelled? What if you are sitting on the runway for hours? What if you miss your flight but your luggage didn’t? Yikes, all of these what-if’s! Most of the time everything goes as planned but it’s good to think about what to wear when you head to the ... Read more
April 15, 2013Whether you are traveling for business and/or pleasure you want to be comfortable and prepared. Do you use a travel and packing checklist? If not, email me and I will send you one that I use for all occasions. I essentially include: what tasks need to get done before the trip? what do I need to bring ... Read more
April 14, 2013At a talk I gave the other night 1 of the women shared a quick strategy that she used to employ to clear kitchen clutter. She told our group that if someone was stopping by to visit with little notice she would put everything on her counters into the oven! Of course, my first thought ... Read more
April 3, 2013The best ways to look good all day long is to have a small amount of makeup essentials in your tote bag. There are so many choices on the market. As an Organizer and Image Consultant my advice is to keep it simple. Small containers of the basics will keep you looking refreshed. My favorites: Blotting ... Read more