The reason I know that creating an organized system has no right way or wrong way is from personal experience. There are alot of books out there that explain why this method of organizing is superior to another method and THE ANSWER for everyone. I realized that each of these authors had a different approach to organizing and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. This led me to the conclusion that there is no one answer. It is an individual process that can only be defined by me which will in turn lead to a lifestyle change. The organizing process is dependent upon each individual and their learning style along with physical ability and motivation coupled with the space being organized. This creates a customized organizing system that will provide for easy maintenance and sustainability. The process of organizing a space can be broken down into steps that are able to be used in every area. I will not go into those here.
Understanding learning styles goes a long way in the creation of an effective organizing system. The visual person, which is my learning style for the most part, finds little to no value in everything being placed in drawers or behind closed doors. I realized that I really spent too much time looking for things in my office that I couldn’t see. I had created duplicate files which created more confusion on my part. I really felt like things were out of sight, out of mind. In this case, it was prudent to devise systems that are for easy retrieval and visibility.
The physical condition of the person should also be a part of the creation of an organized system. Someone who can’t reach above their head would do better with items placed at lower levels. The reverse is also true for the individual who is unable to bend down. It is of no service to anyone in either of these examples to expect they could follow the same organizing system.
The motivation factor in creating a functional organizing system cannot be overrated. When someone is truly sick and tired of living in clutter and disorganization, they are ready to get organized! This is exactly the place I had ended up when my journey began. Whether a person is in need of increasing productivity or just trying to find their car keys, success is in their motivation. People can also be motivated to create a system based on downsizing or preparing for a move. The motivation in any situation is essential to creating the most effective organizing system. It’s always good to know the desired end result to map a plan to get there.
Defining the intention for each space helps in creating the right system. Small spaces will likely not have the same system as large spaces. There may be a similar plan but the intention for the space will change the organizing system. This is why a kitchen has a different organizing system than a home office. In addition to the intention being very different the workflow is also very different. This is also taken into account in customizing an organizing system.
Just as each person is unique so will be their system of organizing. To be effective and lasting it should factor in learning styles, physical limitations/abilities, motivation and the actual space itself. A one size fits all approach toward creating a system will not end with a positive outcome. It is good to remember that there is no right way or wrong way to do this, as long as you are happy with the project in the end.
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