8.27.2014

Getting Organized

Another re-visit just in time to get our homes in order for fall.
Filing Cabinet

Maybe you have a perfectly organized home; one in which the saying "a place for everything and everything in its place" accurately describes your organization style. Most homes, however, probably have at least one "hot spot" where clutter reigns and organization is a secretly longed for desire. Where is your "hot spot"? If your house is in anyway similar to ours, it is "hot spots" in the plural form.

On the whole, we are quite organized, especially for a homeschooling family with six now seven children. Despite the fact that I've come a long, long ways towards total organization, there are still a number of areas left to be conquered. The unconquered areas aren't rooms in my home; they are areas left out of balance in other areas of my life, mostly my mind.

After 19 years of marriage, six seven children, numerous pets, and at least seven moves, I have come to a few conclusions about organization. Conclusion 1: Organization is more an act of the mind rather than a physical task. Conclusion 2: Organization that is success for my family may not work for anyone else. Conclusion 3: Without the proper tools, organization is practically impossible.

Organization is an act of the mind. What? That's right. It is common knowledge that every individual possesses a unique style of learning. Just as learning styles are individual, so are organization styles. For some, there is no greater organization tool than a stack of file folders and a filing cabinet. As long as they possess these tools, their lives are in blissful order. Others like myself are "out of sight, out of mind" organizers. If I place things in file folders, they are kept perfectly safe wherever I place them. Perfectly safe because once they are out of sight, I no longer remember they exist. For organizers like me, the cubbyhole system is ideal. I can't tell you how many years I spent attempting to organize my life into file folders and drawers only to fail---miserably.

Once I learned that there is more than one way to organize and that I simply wasn't wired to work well in the out of sight system, relief washed over me in waves. Now that I am free to organize the areas in my life in ways that work; much success has been achieved. Much organizational success has indeed been achieved in my home and life. Please note that it didn't take a lot to be considered success.

If you were to pattern your organizational strategy exactly after mine however, defeat might be the outcome. Why? Because you are a unique individual with your own distinct manner of successful order. What would be the most successful strategy? Study yourself; observe how you work. Use those findings to implement successful organization techniques into your life.

Organization doesn't always take money. Sometimes it just takes time... ...or help. I realize that the first thing the word "tools" brings to mind when discussing organization are the actual, physical supplies used. Those aren't the tools Conclusion 3 is referring to. The tools of organization need to be put to use before the supplies see action.

The best tools that we can obtain in our quest for organizational victory are collections. "Collections? Wait a minute, I want to organize what I already have, not add more stuff to the pile." Don't worry. These aren't collections of stuff. They are collections of new mindsets, strategies, methods, and products that work with our own personal organization styles.

After years experiencing failure, it may take a while before the truth that success is possible really sinks in. Magazines, internet sites, and books from the library often provide ideas to collect. An idea notebook to keep your idea collection in is not only inexpensive, but easy as well. Pictures from magazines can be inserted in page protectors or glued directly into the notebook. Ideas gleaned from books and the internet can be written in so that they aren't forgotten.

After your new collections have been gathered, the necessary supplies can be used. Just remember, the clutter and or chaos probably didn't appear overnight. Eliminating the distraction of it may not take place that quickly either. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, dear friend, one bite at a time. Pick the smallest area of disorganization to begin with. Look at that area with a new eye, one that sees that clutter put away in a successful way. Begin the process. Once that first area is completed, the taste of victory will be oh so sweet. It will also be quite contagious. Tackling the next area will become easier and easier.

Transfer Box

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