June 13, 2003, Newsletter Issue #88: 4 Steps for Organizing Anything

Tip of the Week

TIP 1 - First step of 4-step Plan
The first step is "Congregate" or decide what you have and congregate or gather it together. Taking inventory is essential to beginning an organizing project. If you want to set up a filing system, for instance, you would first need to gather together all the loose papers that are laying around. Finally seeing everything together helps you understand just what you have and what needs to be done.

TIP 2 - Second step of 4-step Plan
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, youŽll begin to see the excess. ItŽs not unusual to discover you own 12 paring knives, 84 colored pencils, or 25 turtlenecks. If youŽre not using the duplicates of items, eliminate them.

TIP 3 - Third Step of 4-step Plan
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.

TIP 4 - Fourth Step of 4-step Plan
The last decision of the four step plan is to "Locate" or decide where you use the items the most. YouŽll 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. YouŽll 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.

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