Starting an Organizing System

jdecker Blog

They say that hindsight is 20/20 and that the past informs the future. But sometimes we get so mired in the past that we can’t see through to our present, and eventual future. What I’m talking about are phrases like “well I’m just not an organized person” or “that’s not the way my mind works” and “I’ve been getting along like this so far”. I challenge you to look at what’s holding you back from starting an organizing system and conquer those barriers.

True, you may not be an organized person right now but being organized is something you can learn.  Use this challenge and get your organizing system started. Here’s how it works if you’re organizing your kitchen.

  • Remove everything.  This is the time to toss expired food, rusted can openers, topless Tupperware, novelty kitchen items, duplicates…basically anything in the kitchen that shouldn’t be there. This also includes removing kids homework and laundry.   

  • Set up your zones.  Evaluate the way your kitchen is set up and change it to reflect the way you use it. Do you have your baking items in a prime spot when you rarely bake?  Use the work triangle to allocate space for your most frequently used items. Wikipedia states, “The main working functions in a home kitchen are carried out between the cook top, the sink and the refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary lines between them, make up what kitchen experts call the “work triangle”. “ Also put infrequently used items up higher, in the back of cabinets, and try storing items like cooking utensils in a crock on the counter.

  • Put back only what you need.  If you’ve assigned a cabinet to hold pots and pans and you have too many pots and pans to fit in the cabinet, purge down until they fit or allocate another cabinet to fit all you’re keeping. Use this experience to evaluate what you have and keep only what you need for your life in the future.  In the past you may have been a baker but with two kids, it’s not happening for you anymore. That’s ok. Pack it up and give it to someone who will use it.

By balancing the past and the future you can be organized in the present by only having what works for your life now; not what used to work in the past and not what may work in the future. These three pillars work for whatever organizing system you’re starting. You can redo your office, overhaul a closet, and tackle kids bedrooms with these tips. Try it! 

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