Organizing systems are essential for staying organized. Your organizing systems need to be as personalized as your learning and lifestyle is. Our learning style or strength is often establish early on in childhood. Which learning style are you: visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, or kinesthetic? As your Personal and Professional Organizer (and a former educator) I share tips that will make organizing easier and more effective for your needs.
Organizing systems for visual type – seeing, reading
If you are a visual person you probably like to keep the things that you need to remember within your line of sight. That doesn’t mean that everything needs to be visible since that will result in visual clutter and inefficient use of space. For the visual type I recommend that you prioritize what needs to be out and within sight, and create systems for storing the other items. Some examples:
Organizing tip: Keep reusable grocery bags in the front seat of your vehicle so that you will remember to bring them into the store and use them. Organizing system: Contain and store the reusable bags inside of one of the larger bags. This system allows you to grab one at a time or take them all into the store with you.
Organizing tip: Keep individual storage containers in or near your car for items that you need to do something with such as dry cleaning, alterations, or donations. Organizing system: Schedule a block of time each week to drop off and pick up items.
Organizing systems for auditory type – hearing, speaking
If you are an auditory type of person you will likely remember to do and find things that you need if you hear the information. That may take the form of saying something aloud, sending yourself a voicemail message to remind you of something important, or asking someone to repeat information.
Organizing tip: Use voice activated apps and software to create items to remember to buy, bring to work, take to a relative or friend, etc. Organizing system: Listen to your audible lists at least twice a day so that you do not miss deadlines or opportunities to get things done. Organizing tip: Use alarms and notifications to help you to transition from one activity to another and be able to stay on schedule. Organizing system: Determine what task would be most helpful to have an alarm or notification set. Perhaps getting out of the house for an appointment or leaving work to commute home are you greatest challenges. I recommend that you set your alarm for 15 minutes before you need to be out the door. Setting the alarm for more than that amount of time sometimes feeds the need to get 1 more thing done and then making you late!
Organizing systems for olfactory type – smell, taste
Individuals who have a heightened awareness of smell and taste often have strong memories of specific events and people attached to certain scents or flavors. This olfactory type of learning style or strength may not be easily utilized for organizing but here are some ideas if you are open-minded.
Organizing tip: Certain scents are known to have a calming effect on some of us such as lavender. If you are in a stressful or high pressure situation on a routine basis you may want to schedule short relaxation breaks and utilize an oil diffuser with lavender. Taking short breaks throughout the day or before a stressful commute will help you to be more productive and feel better. Organizing tip: For those of you who have trouble waking up in the morning try using aromas that foster a sense of alertness such as peppermint oil or coffee beans. Try sipping a cup of herbal tea when doing menial tasks such as filing and shredding to literally make the task more palatable.
Organizing system: Determine your need and the scent that most aids you in that area of need. Over time you may find associating a scent with certain types of tasks will help your productivity.
Organizing systems for tactile type – touch
Tactile learners involves fine motor movements and learning primarily through the sense of touch. Tactile types learn best through hands-on activities.
Organizing tip: Don’t rely on watching organizing videos or other visuals to help you organize. Pause the video and actually do the task while it is being demonstrated before you continue watching the next step.
Organizing system: Touching, feeling and working with items is the key to organizing for tactile learners. As a Personal and Professional Organizer I often have my clients actually do the organizing task beside me and articulate what they are doing and how it makes him or her feel. A organizing system that calls for practicing these tasks repeatedly is beneficial for creating new habits and maintaining organized environments.
Organizing systems for kinesthetic type – movement
A kinesthetic learner needs to move his or her whole body. Kinesthetic types need to wiggle, tap, swing their legs, bounce, and often don’t seem to be able to sit still. They learn through their bodies and their sense of touch. They have excellent “physical” memory and learn as they do. Body movement as they organize will enhance focus so allow yourself to move. Add novelty and change in order to help break up longer tasks and projects.
Organizing tip: Try using different seating options such as a physio ball or a standing desk. If you are on a phone call walk around and use a wireless ear piece.
Organizing system: In case you can’t already tell I am a big fan of taking breaks. Kinesthetic learners need to take movement breaks, go for walks, or walk up and down flights of stairs. An effective time management system and use of a schedule to make sure that you not only take breaks, but intentionally make larger projects into smaller more manageable ones will be very helpful.
How can I help you with more organizing tips and systems for your unique style?