There are numerous professional organizers, websites, and computer programs dedicated to helping people become better organized. While they may be very helpful, long term organizational skills are developed over time with practice and thoughtful consideration.
Many people seek to organize their work, family, and home lives to become more efficient, saving both time and money. Many people also believe that organization brings them peace of mind.
The following are 10 simple steps to get and keep things organized:
1. List the who, what, when, where, and why. Example: Mary wants to organize her desk drawer at work today to improve her efficiency.
2. Determine the reason for disorganization. Example: Mary looks inside her desk drawer and sees an abundant conglomeration of pens, paperclips, sticky notes, rubber bands, and other miscellaneous items. She concludes that there are too many items sharing the same space without division.
3. Determine what is needed to be organized. Example: Mary asks herself, if adding a drawer organizer tray will suit her needs or does she need to utilize another drawer. Mary determines that a drawer organizer will be sufficient.
4. Identify what is essential. Example: Mary asks herself if she really needs 25 pens and wonders why has she held onto that broken staple remover. She determines that 3 pens are essential, one blue, one black, and one red.
5. Store, give away, or discard multiples or non essentials: Example: Mary keeps the 3 pens, stores the other 22 in the supply cabinet and throws away the broken staple remover.
6. Place items that are alike or have a similar function together: Example: Mary places all the paperclips, pens, sticky notes, etc. into a separate pile each. She places the sticky notes and pens next to each other.
7. Place items that are used often within the closest reach. Example: Mary places the pens in the front of the organizer tray.
8. A place for everything and everything in it's place. Example: Mary designates a separate place in the organizer tray for the scissors, paperclips, sticky notes, etc.
9. When finished with an item, return it to it's place.
10. As new items are acquired, old items need to be discarded. Review and repeat these steps as necessary. Scheduling a monthly, quarterly or annual review on your calendar may be helpful in maintaining organization.
While getting organized may take some time at first, it may be a real time saver in the end. Since time is money, then money may also be saved. Saving time and money may bring about efficiency and efficiency just may bring about peace of mind.