Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Make It Easy on Yourself Organizationally

The adage "a place for everything, and everything in its place" is a great one for organizers to use with clients. But it is not just a helpful guideline -- it really is the major principle in organizing because it works. There's another aspect to it, though. As an organizer, I try to help clients realize they are not going to stay organized unless it is easy for them to put things away. In other words, it is not enough for there to be a place for your things; it has to be a fairly easy process for you to get to that place.

A quick rule of thumb is to make the number of steps as few as possible. Consider the computer: you don't want to go through 9 sub-levels to find the folder you need. If you have an item to put away in the kitchen, for ex., you don't want to get out the step stool, open the cabinet door, remove some other dishes or stuff first, find the right container, put the lid on, etc.

Any steps that impede you from putting an item away quickly are not going to encourage you to maintain organization. Just as you should be able to 'grab and go', you should strive to create storage solutions that allow you to return stuff quickly. Make things accessible: use open shelving, use clear tubs with no lids, avoid stacking and remove packaging.

It's hard enough to stay organized, you might as well make it a bit easier on yourself!