Think Outside the Box: A Tip for Staying Organised

If you happen to be in my kitchen looking for the cinnamon, you won’t find it in the spice cabinet. It’s with the coffee. And if you reach for a water glass, you’ll also see the vitamins. I don’t keep them in the medicine cabinet.

Since our kitchen also happens to be smaller than the average elevator, I’m not organizing it for anyone else but myself, so it’s pretty rare to have anyone confused by where to find the cinnamon, or surprised by finding the vitamins – but even if we did have a kitchen that could fit more than 1.5 persons, I’d still organize it the way I do.

Staying organized in your own space means putting things where you can find them, not where they “should” be. Many of us try to work with a system we learned in our childhood, or one we’ve seen work in our friend’s home, or one that an organizing expert insisted was the best. But a lot of the time, those systems just don’t work for us. Continue Reading

Organisation principle #3: Don’t Decide if You Can’t Decide

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We’ve talked about how the difficult part of getting organised are the decisions, and how establishing your bottom line and making the decision once can really help the process along. The goal, of course, is to avoid decision fatigue and decision paralysis, the killers of progress.

But chances are, if you embark upon the great closet/ pantry/ wardrobe clean-out, at some point, you are going to find yourself with a pile of things you just can’t decide on. They somehow defy your bottom line, and you have run out of energy to establish a place for them.

Here’s where an important strategy comes into play: if you just can’t decide, don’t. Continue Reading

Organisation Principle #2: Make the Decision Once

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After you have resolved to minimize decision fatigue, and you’ve established your bottom line, it’s time to implement the second key principle in getting organised: Make the Decision Once.

Did anyone else grow up with the old proverb, “a place for everything, and everything in its place”?

I wish I had accepted its wisdom when I was younger. You see, I thought it was just one of those annoying sayings that adults used to make children want to tidy (how that would ever work, I don’t know), or something highly organized people would say …

I didn’t realize that it would actually save me endless amounts of decision fatigue. Continue Reading

Organisation Principle #1: Establish Your Bottom Line

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Recently, I wrote about the most difficult part of getting organised. Today, I’ll look at the first step to take when actually beginning the process.

What do you care most about? This is your bottom line, and what you are willing to trade other things for. You have to decide this ahead of time, because it will enable you to make decisions when you just want to quit. Continue Reading