Disclaimer: Organizing is not my professionIn fact, I am one of those people who annoy their husbands with pleas of "have you seen my keys?" "Where are my glasses", and other such questions. Whew! That feels good to get that off my chest! Having said that, I do wish to say that I am actively working be become professionally organized. I have recently excused myself from the "organized" chaos of our home to give myself a little education on this subject. I loved this article about organizing from about.com. One of the best books I’ve read on the subject I found at my local library, How to Start a Home-Based Professional Organizing Business by Dawn Noble. I have definitely learned from her book that I am a poor candidate for a career in this field, but I have also learned to look at my situation with fresh eyes. "What would a professional advise me to do in this case?" I ask.
True organizing promotes a lazier lifestyleI recently laughed when I heard the statistic that the average American spends 1-2 hours a day looking for things. Then I kicked myself when I as I frantically searched 10 minutes for my keys and ultimately borrowed my husbands. In retrospect I have realized that that statistic is probably not far off for me. When I actually put my keys on the key-rack that is right next to our door, I simply grab them and leave. Traditionally I have thought of organizing as sorting my books to be in alphabetical order, arranging my clothes by color, or putting all of the toys in their own respective bins. Yes, this is organizing. But these are the fine details, and appropriately, they are not something I do regularly.True organizing means creating a system that supports your current lifestyle. Store things where you use them. Create as few steps as possible to complete a job. I love Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, for their father’s profession involved “motion studies”. He was constantly finding ways to make a job easier and more effective. Ultimately, that is what a professional organizer should do. It is not enough to simply clear a space and de-clutter. I have done that several times and in a short time the space fills up again. What I really need is to create a system that is easy to maintain. "A place for every thing and every thing in its place" is the adage my piano teacher taught me, and indeed she was a very organized person. But it goes further. If the thing’s "place" is downstairs on a shelf and I use it upstairs in the bedroom, it is not likely to ever truly be "away", and so it clutters the top of my dresser or the closet. It doesn’t matter if you store something in an untraditional place if that place works for you and makes your life easier. Store it where you use it. Clean-up at the end of the day should be easy and fast, giving me more time for bed-time stories and time with my children.
I am a beginner in this subject, but I am now an official student. I have gone through my house and taken some fabulous "before" pictures, and will shortly share them, once I have an "after" to go with it!