Organizing is not a strong suit of the majority. More often than not we find ourselves faced with a clutter of paper, tools, gear, and whatnot. Organized chaos, others argue. The belief is as long as a pen can be found in a sea of the past month’s mail, yesterday’s unfinished origami, and today’s laundry, everything is fine and dandy. But as the saying goes, clutter in your physical surroundings will clutter your mind and spirit.
Good thing organization is a skill and attribute. You can employ somebody to arrange all the stuff in your closets and desks. You can also do it yourself. Marts and malls have an abundance of container compartments, drawer dividers, and many other organizers. The thing is, most people fail to stay organized. Whether by their own accord or with others involved. It is hard but not impossible. Here are ways we can keep things in order.
Know what organizer will fit the bill
It is important to know what you will place n organizers before shopping or making anything. Choose based on what kind of item is being stored. Ask, how much will be stored, and how long. Paper works and office-related documents for example can be placed in file storage boxes.
These rectangular containers are a good way to keep your files visible, sorted, and safe. Hanging file organizers is best for documents lettered A to Z. Snap lock document storage is good for confidential letters and fireproof filing boxes are also available for title deeds. If you work in the field you can carry your thick stack of papers in mobile file boxes with side or top handles.
Storage boxes come in clear plastics, linen, mesh metal, wood, or thick cardboard with open tops, covers, or locks that may be mobile or stackable. Maximize storage boxes by considering the stored item’s make-up and purpose.
Make sure labels are clear
Labeling makes locating things easier and faster. It is a silent way to convey instructions without running yourself hoarse asking somebody else to “put your shoes here” or “spoons there”.
Make sure your labels are specific and universally understood. Utensils are a broad term to use for kitchen drawers. You can divide the many kitchen tools into smaller groups using words such as kitchenware, ovenware, and bakeware. Spoon, fork, knife, and chopsticks are better labeled as cutlery. Agree on a label that means the same thing in your workplace or household to avoid missing and mixing items.
Sort according to frequency of use
Some items in our homes and offices we utilize more than the others. Categorize stuff from the most used to the least used. In terms of clothes, classify them into everyday wear, Sunday dress, party dress, and special occasion clothes.
Place Monday to Friday clothes in easy to reach parts of your closet or drawers. Avoid placing everyday attires in high drawers or bottom parts of the drawers. Doing this will create a mess when rummaging about what to wear.
Tools, clothes, and supplies that are used throughout the week should be visible and easily reached for. It will prevent flipping the entire contents of our drawer and creating a mess.
Before purchasing anything ask yourself, “will I use this?”. A good rule of thumb to avoid hoarding according to Dr. David Tolin is if you have not used an object in over a year means you can live without it.
Buy when you need it, not when you feel like it. Needs are things necessary to stay healthy, appear presentable and work efficiently. Discard the ‘might’, ‘probably’ need.
Check for expiration dates. You will be surprised to find many unopened items you have been keeping have expired. Consume items that are a year away from the expiry or donate them. You can also check with the manufacturer or company websites for an item’s life expectancy or years of optimum performance.
You can visually see when an item is good to go. If it has served you long enough and is falling apart or no longer safe, let go. Learn to dispose of items before purchasing things in exchange.
It is a lifestyle
Organizing is a process that starts with realizing you need a major clean up. A messy work area or room may dampen mood, headspace, and cause poor work performance. Seeing piles and piles of stuff on your desk can look discouraging at first. Doing it later though will delay and turn to never. Once you’ve set your mind to it stick to it. Grab the trash bags and start sorting. Arrange according to your work schedule. Label well and avoid making unnecessary purchases.
Being a packrat results in hoarding staff that are not important. Out with the old, weary and worn. You will realize some things are just added baggage. A clear work and living area is a breath of fresh air. It does not only make things easier to locate, but it also makes life happier and more productive.