Questions on the Road to Organization

We have all heard that the destination of organization is “a place for everything and everything in its place”. But how do you get from where you are now to that organized place?

Here are several questions you should consider along the way.

What purpose does the room serve?

Each room should serve only a small number of activities. These may include eating, reading, sleeping, watching TV or office work. Too many activities or purposes in a single room can cause organizational chaos and lead to a lack of cohesion. Once the select purposes are clearly defined, establish specific areas or zones within the room for each of the desired activities. An example of this might be to determine that reading usually happens in a corner chair while bill paying and computer work usually happens at a desk.

What belongs in this room or space?

Once you have defined the purpose and activities of the room you are working in, it is much easier to decide what actually belongs in that space. The only things kept in that room should relate directly to the activities taking place in that room. For example if getting dressed is not listed as an activity, then extra shoes or purses do not belong in the room. The specific zones defined earlier also designate where items will be kept in the room. When bills come in, they should not be put on the table beside the corner reading chair but at the desk, the area set aside for bill paying.

Why don’t certain items get put away?

Being organized is not only having a place for everything but also making sure everything gets back in its place. This is often the hardest part because we don’t always choose the right place for everything. If an item is not put away, take time to examine the reason why. Are the books kept on a shelf that is too high, prohibiting your child from putting them away, even if they wanted to? Is the linen closet so crowded that it makes adding the fresh set of sheets a challenge?

What works best for all those involved?

Most spaces in our homes or offices are used by several people. Choosing an organizing system that works for all requires input from all. Discuss how each person uses the space, what they see as challenges to the room’s organization and what they see as possible solutions. You might be surprised at the insights you gain. Based on those responses, make organizing decisions to meet the needs of all those who use the space.

Asking yourself these few questions will help you take steps towards a space where there’s a “place for everything and everything in its place.”

© Beth Giles

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