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Do you have a highly cluttered area that you've been neglecting because you don't know where to begin? Take those first baby steps at getting it organized by picking just one item each day on which to make a decision. Once you've made those first few decisions, you'll almost always be motivated to continue.
We often spend more time and energy thinking about doing something than if we had just got busy and did something. The next time you find yourself fretting about not getting organized, turn that mental energy into physical energy and begin by choosing a few things to toss out, or picking one drawer to organize. Just Do It!
The last decision of the four step plan is to "Locate" or decide where you use the items the most. You'll feel the most organized and productive if the tools you need to accomplish a task are within easy reach. Items should always be located nearest to their point of usage. You'll also probably find that the "first string" items you separated out in Step 3 for high usage, have a different location than "second string" items.
Organizing is about getting decisive and there are four main decisions that need to be made to get any area organized. The first step is "Congregate" or decide what you have and congregate or gather it together. Finally seeing everything together helps you understand just what you have and what needs to be done.
Getting organized is about making decisions, and the second step in the four step decision plan is "Eliminate" or decide what can be tossed out or given away. After congregating everything together, you'll begin to see the excess. It's not unusual to discover you own 12 paring knives, 84 colored pencils, or 25 turtlenecks. If you're not using the duplicates of items, eliminate them.
This is tried and true organizing advice that bears repeating - Everything needs an assigned place. When you begin to feel that things are drifting back toward disorganization, it might be because you've added new items that have never been assigned a home. Use the Four Step Plan in the "Getting Organized" tips to help you assign a home to items that have accumulated.
Keep making those decisions by moving on to the third decision "Separate" or deciding what you use the most. This is based on the theory that you use 20% of what you own 80% of the time, and the other 80% of what you own is used only 20% of the time. Decide which items are in the 20% that sees high usage and designate them as your "first string". Separating them from the rest of the pack allows you to find the most used items quickly.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|