Days between two organizing sessions: 19 days
Here is an example of what happened between the first and second organizing sessions. There are three things that could be in play:
- Backsliding: When a client doesn’t do regular maintenance, the organizing system can fail.
- The system is too detailed: When a system requires too many steps and doesn’t work with someone’s natural organizing style.
- Incorrect storage: The space isn’t large enough to contain the number of items.
In the case of the sweater drawer below, my vote is for number 2. The system is too detailed and requires too many steps (fold and stack), which in turn makes it difficult to maintain. It is acceptable to have systems that don’t look “neat” as long as items are organized and can be accessed and put away in the correct place.
Reassess organizing systems
Just because a system works for your friend, doesn’t mean that it will work for you. If a system doesn’t work, it could be that the system is not the correct one for you. Don’t assume that it is a failure on your part. However, you will have to use a system consistently before you decide it is not working and you want to change it.
Maintenance: Commit to keeping up the organizing systems
Decide on a regular maintenance schedule. This could be a daily 10-minute tidy-up or a weekly tidy-up for 30 minutes. Use a timer to keep you on track. I love the Time Timer. It shows the passing of time and buzzes when the time is up – great for people who are visual and auditory learners.
Photo credits: © Paula Berman Organizing