This is a frequently asked question, and the answer is simple. There is no one-size, fits-all answer to this question…..and there shouldn’t be.
At one of my earliest training courses in organising, I recall a lightbulb moment which has forever resonated with me. You see I came into this work thinking that I know exactly how to organise stuff, people and time. There was no doubt that I could get stuff done and achieve the end goal, but it was clear that I had my own way of getting there.
I quickly learnt that my way isn’t the “right” way.
Let me illustrate. Picture one of those giant variety mix boxes of chocolates or lollies.
If you were asked to group or categorise them, what would your first thought be?
Size, colour, shape, filled/unfilled, solid/nutty/wafer, like/dislike. Can you think of any other ways?
Your first idea may very well be different to mine, to your partner’s, or to your children’s. Does that make my logic the right one and theirs wrong? Definitely not! The goal to categorise or group items was achieved, it made sense to the person undertaking the task and it is highly likely they could replicate it if asked to do it again next week.
The same thing goes for organising your home, office, paperwork, time or any other element of your life that isn’t working as efficiently as you would like.
To achieve an outcome that you are happy and comfortable with, and one that can be sustained in the long term, it is crucial that you tap into your logic, and the logic of all “users”.
Ask questions of the “users”, enquire about their preferences and use this as a basis for developing the systems in your home.
The resulting system may not be perfect for everyone, but if they can understand the logic that underpins it and they have supports in place to assist them in maintaining it (think structure, labels, routine) that will give you a fabulous foundation for an organised home.