A client told me the other day that her husband said she should use only a given number of filing drawers for each category of papers and that should be enough. Ohhh, if only that were the case, then we could use a one size fits all approach and everyone would be much more organized and infinitely less stressed. However, there is no one size fits all when it comes to getting and remaining organized. One person may have only a few household files, while another may need to maintain a large number of files on an ongoing basis. The trick is to determine what items/papers you really need to keep and find a system that works for the way you think, so that you can maintain that system over time.
Truth be told, there are as many ways to organize a space as there are people to fill that space. A system that works for you may not work for your best friend or even your husband. So what is the solution when it comes to figuring out the best way to get organized? How do you know what system would be best for the way you live and work?
- The first thing is to take stock of what you actually have. That means sort it out, purge it and in some situations you may even need to inventory your items. This is the hard part and usually the most time consuming and it’s a crucial step that you should not skip.
- Next, take a look at the systems or solutions you have tried in the past and ask yourself what did and did not work. If a system did work then pinpoint why it worked; this will give you some insight into what will work for you going forward.
- Conversely, you will need to determine what systems did not work and ask yourself why. For example, was it the type of system or maybe the location of the system—what specifically was it about that organizing implement or system that rendered it useless?
- Once you’ve determined what works you can begin to formulate a better fit for the future.
Ask Some Basic Questions
- Now, ask yourself some questions.
- Do I need to see my files or items in front of me to find what I need?
- Do I prefer to organize my items based on a color system?
- Am I an analytical thinker and need a clear desk to feel organized?
- Once you know a little more about how you think in terms of your organizing style you can begin to work through the process of discovering the organizing solutions that work for you.
Notice I used the word process above to describe the next step. Finding, implementing and maintaining any organizational system is most often a process and a journey. Many people think all will be perfect and life will automatically be easier once they’re organized; however, it doesn’t usually work that way in everyday life. For most it takes practice actually using the system, and then some trial and error to develop good organizational systems and habits that work over time. It’s very much like getting back into shape when you have not exercised for a long time. First you have to actually find an activity that you like or at least prefer, and then you need to develop a schedule that you can stick to on a regular basis. Next you need to actually devote the time and effort into the activity to get results. The act of getting and remaining organized is as varied and individual as you are, so be patient, be flexible and be consistent and you too will find the perfect system that works just for you.
Schedule an In-Home Initial Needs Assessment to determine your organization style today. Call or email Your Tasks – Our Time at 610.847.5422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.