Whenever I meet with a client to discuss their organizing needs, I will always ask – What’s working? That question is so important because usually whatever is working you can rest assured organizing principles are being applied. However, because they may not be aware that they are applying organizing principles, the connection is not easily made when trying to get other areas in their lives organized.
Let’s take doing the laundry as an example. Unless you have drop off service for doing your laundry, it is a chore, although not loved, you must do on a regular basis. The kitchen is disorganized, the bedroom is disorganized, and the closets are disorganized. But, start doing the laundry, regardless of how mundane it may seem, and it is a one, two, three, done. You gather those clothes, sort them, and throw them in the washer. A no brainer, right? Wrong. It is an application of organizing principles at its best. There are four organizing principles that are applied when doing the laundry that if applied to other areas of the home or our office space could help reduce the stress of getting things done. Let’s see how easy that can be.
Gather the Laundry
Our first step in doing the laundry is to gather it from our room, the kids’ rooms, and the hamper. This is the first organizing principle of getting organized. Gather the items to be organized whether it is shoes, books, files, supplies, etc.
Sort the Laundry
When sorting the laundry we separate the coloreds, the whites, hand washables, linen, etc. It is the same process when organizing our home or office space. We sort papers, files, magazines, etc.
Once the laundry is sorted, we take action. We wash, dry, and fold the laundry. The same process is applied to items we sort in other areas of the home or our office space. We take action by deciding where these items will be stored.
Put Similar Items Together
The final step in taking action with the laundry is to put it away. Without thinking, we put all the towels together, all the sheets together, blouses together, and even the socks are put in its own drawer. The same thing is done with the items in our home or office space. Once we have finished the sort, and we have decided what to do with the items, we will then store similar or related items in the same location for easy access, and to reduce the stress of looking for these items in various locations.
So yes, when applying organizing principles, getting organized can be as easy as doing the laundry.