Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Simple Sort

Sometimes you can face an organizing project or space that is overwhelming. There is so much stuff, so many varieties or types of items, and seemingly so much time needed that you cannot imagine getting through it.

For these situations I recommend taking the first baby step: the simple sort. Think of one category, one type of item or label, and use that as your criteria for sorting. For example, say that you have tons of photos to organize. It may seem daunting to just begin when you are faced with almost a lifetime of pictures. Let's imagine that you would like to organize the photos by occasion (although it could be by family member, year, event, whatever). Start with one occasion that you can think of -- i.e. birthday -- and then as you go through each picture, as you touch each photo, tell yourself to pull out ONLY birthday ones.

As you proceed, you're setting aside the birthday ones and the rest go into a "not birthday" photo pile. Remember, this works for any category or criteria you choose, as long as it is fairly specific and you can easily determine whether an item is in or out. You are not figuring out what to do with each picture other than which pile it goes into. Two choices only.

That way, when you're done, you have at least one category culled out that you can stick in a box labeled with the category. Every journey begins with one step....