Monday, February 1, 2010

Three Elements to Organizing

I am sometimes asked by a client why a room that we have worked on together still gets disorganized. Sometimes it is because the system needs tweaking, or it may be time again for a good purge. Though, sometimes it is because there are some habits or behaviors that if modified, could help support the system.

Usually the first phase of organizing focuses on the physical space. This is where the most change happens. In order to organize a space, items need to be sorted and purged. Once a client has identified the remaining objects in a room, then the room is zoned, items are grouped by type and then a home is found for each item and/or group of items. We then talk about storage and strategize on ways to keep the system up.

This is where we talk about types of behaviors or habits that help or hurt the system. I encourage clients to have simple, uncomplicated systems that support their habits and behaviors. Don't have a mud room? Create one and have an area for each person in the house to put their briefcase/purse/backpack, etc. Have it become a routine to place your important bags and necessary items needed for the next day to minimize the morning, "where is my homework?" Have an issue with mail piling up? Does the system you have created for processing the mail work? Maybe you need to create a routine to process the mail.

Probably one of the most important aspects of organizing is the end of day 15 minute pick-up and next day planning. This is really important to maintain a sense of organization and order, especially if kids are part of the equation. An effective way to stay on top of your priorities is to plan ahead and figure out what your most important tasks/to dos are for the next day. In order to make things happen, a person has to have a plan.

The reality of life is rooms get messy, but if the right systems are created, it should not take a lot of time to pick them up. Have a plan so that you are reacting less and are checking things off your to do list.

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