I have heard a lot of talk recently about professional organizers. My sister is using one (and loves it) and others have shared tips from those in the field. This area is not one of my challenges; in fact, I am more likely to become a professional organizer than to use one!
I read the tips from the pros about habits they do every day. These included such basic things as make the bed, write out a to-do list, tend to clothing as soon as you take it off, wash the dishes, etc. I do all these things, but it has never occurred to me that they are habits that are keeping me organized.
I thought about what I would say if asked to give organization advice. Here is my two cents:
1. Make it easy. I laugh when I see these pristine organizing systems that have clothes or crafts in elaborate configurations. What I believe is more practical is to have easy access to a place to put things that you use frequently. Have a box on the eye-level shelf where you automatically toss all of your receipts. No thinking; that’s just where receipts go. Have a spot in your office where all the magazines/newsletters/stuff to read later is placed. As soon as they come in the mail, it’s to the spot in the corner for them. The recycling should be right next to the wastebasket, not off in a place that requires extra steps. A glass on the front of the shelf in the pantry can hold the Box Tops for Education. If any manipulation or thinking is required, it’s too obscure or complicated.
2. Keep the main area clear. I think it is parallel to the broken window theory — when there is a broken window in one building, others frequently follow. When there is a stack of “stuff” on the counter or table, it is like a magnet for other piles to gravitate towards. If you keep the place clear where things are most likely to accumulate, it sets the tone that things should be put away (in that easy spot where they belong!) Maybe for you it is the stairs leading up to the bedroom, the laundry room or the table in the den, but deal with wherever is the prime gathering spot for things, and I believe you’ll see a ripple effect of organization elsewhere.
I don’t disagree with the other tips from the pros, rather add my thoughts to them. The bottom line: it’s important to do what works for you. Whether that is hiring an organizer, following your own method or putting some of these ideas into practice, develop a system that helps you feel in control instead of controlled by your possessions.
Thanks Eddie for the article!