Thursday, November 5, 2015

Organization: My Top Tips

Top Tips For Organizing

     So, I really like organizing. I do it for fun. I used to be super messy, to the point where I couldn’t even function in my space. In middle school, one of my teachers just made the 'organizer' in me come out. I don’t know how he did it, but ever since then I’ve been super organized. So today I’m going to tell you my three top tips for organization.

     If you’re going to organize, you’re going to need the right ‘helpers,’ whether it’s containers, file folders, or sticky notes. It wouldn’t make sense to boil water if you’re going to eat a TV dinner, just like it wouldn’t make sense to have a magazine holder if you never have magazines. The boiling water is just an extra thing you don’t need to get to the final result. Just like the magazine holder with no magazines is, except the magazine holder takes up space in your work area. So the key to staying organized is keeping everything functional. It seems people get caught up in making sure everything they could possibly have has a container. I’ve fallen prey to this too. When you’re buying your ‘helpers’ to get organized, make a list of what you know you want to organize, and then buy what you need and only what you need. This way, you don’t end up broke with a magazine holder and no magazines to hold. That’s just a sad situation for you and the magazine holder.

     Believe it or not, there’s a such thing as being too organized! I never thought I would say that, but it’s true. If you have too many organizational systems for one thing, or too many complicated measures, it can make you less organized. You’re less likely to use the systems you’ve set up because it takes so much time. If it’s too complicated to use, you won’t use it all. When I think about being too organized, I think about the scene from Friends where Monica is organizing all the photos, and she’s got the photos sorted by categories and cross references and all the photos are numbered, and Rachel picks up the last box of photos and they all fall out on top of the sorted piles of photos…that weren’t numbered. In a way, that’s what being too organized feels like. You get everything sorted out, and then a new wave comes in and you drown in complete chaos again. So keep it simple. The thing is, simple can mean different things to different people. I have a binder where I keep all my stuff from classes I’ve already taken, so at the end of the year I take everything out of my little binders and put it into one big binder. Within that binder, I have the classes I took that year separated by dividers. Within those dividers, I have notes that I took and tests behind that. This is simple and works well for me. For someone else though, this may be too much organization, and they just want to keep the stuff from the class in the little binders store it like that. That’s okay too! It’s all about what works for you, but it needs to be your definition of simple, otherwise you won’t use it. 

You’re not going to want to organize your stuff if you don’t get a feeling of satisfaction seeing everything organized when it’s finished. If you don’t like looking at plain black containers or yellow folders, get something pretty! If you like the look of black containers and manila folders, get that! (Now that I’m picturing it, it does look very sleek.) If you want bright pink or polka dots or clear acrylic, get that! Get whatever gives you that little flutter of joy in your heart every time you look at it. Don’t listen to anyone tell you things like “the clear gives the illusion of blah blah blah” “the purple polka dots don’t look professional.” They’re not the ones using it; you are! Get containers that make you happy and excited to use them. 

Okay, those are my three top tips for organization. Try them out and let me know what you think! I want to hear about your organization systems. I want to see pictures of perfectly organized desks. Give each other inspiration. Have fun with it. Make it functional, make it simple, and make it happy. 

Genuinely, Erin