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 Remember that you don’t want to keep outdated information.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.
November 22, 2012With so much media attention on hoarding behavior I find that people either fear that they are hoarding, or just the opposite, and are in denial about their behavior. I just read an review in the New York Times of “The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life” by Robin Zasio. ... Read more
November 2, 2012Make your tasks more manageable by applying the “1-at-a-time rule”. What does that mean? Work on 1 task at a time. Work in 1 space at a time. Talk to 1 person without distraction. You get the idea. The key is to focus, be present, and more efficient. Not only will you shorten the amount of time it takes ... Read more
November 1, 2012Rest, nourished, and distraction-free. It’s just that simple! It’s the chicken and egg issue…are you tired and frazzled because you are not organized? Or are you disorganized because you are not practicing self care? You are more likely to be able to focus and get things done when you are rested, well fed and hydrated, ... Read more
October 30, 2012As a Professional Organizer I am attuned to working with individuals who have special needs. That may include health issues, disabling conditions, aging, and emotional issues. All individuals have special needs to lesser and greater extents, and all of us can benefit from regularly organizing our space or our time. Some considerations… Do you start things ... Read more
October 29, 2012I am always saying that the best tip for looking good is wearing clothing that fits. Nothing looks worse than clothing that is too tight, baggy, low cut, or short unless it is appropriate for your body type. Still, we need to consider age (sorry), comfort, and whether it is event-appropriate. So, do you now ... Read more
October 22, 2012I was talking to a friend the other day and she shared this photo of the spice rack she built. She did a great job using a prominent space in the kitchen, adding colors to the wall. Fabulous idea and that way she didn’t have to use precious cupboard or drawer space. I get great ... Read more
October 19, 2012Did you know that 1 of the reasons why clutter accumulates is that we don’t manage our time effectively? 3 TIPS to combat that: #1 – Schedule everything! Use your planner to schedule tasks, not just appointments. #2 – Time yourself! Set a timer to help you make quick decisions…keep? recycle? shred? #3 – Organize regularly. Remember, organizing ... Read more
October 16, 2012A few simple changes will give you a new, more polished look! Update your eyeglass frames next time you get your eyes checked. Try on wigs to see what a new style might look like. Bring an honest friend along. Add a little color with blush and tinted lip gloss. Send me your photo for more personalized ideas! Read more
October 15, 2012Your desktop is a surface that is primarily a space to work on rather than a storage space. Are you afraid that if you don’t leave papers out that you will forget to do something? As an organizing and productivity expert I can assure you that that strategy doesn’t work. In fact, it creates mental ... Read more
October 4, 2012Here are 3 challenges my clients face and solutions that work for each: Challenge #1: Do you have difficulty trying to decide which project to start? Solution: List each project on a separate slip of paper. Fold them in half and put them all in a container. Shake it up then select one. Start it now! Challenge #2: ... Read more