Starting an organizing idea

I’m starting a category of posts that are going to be filed under the heading of “organizing.”  I’m not totally sure where they’re going to head, exactly, but I’ve been brainstorming since my sister-in-law, Amy, asked me to write about that topic—trying to figure out what exactly I should write about.  I have a lot of ideas, I’m just not totally sure yet how to write them down.

I love to organize.  I think I’m fairly good at it.  One of my goals is to try to start a professional organizing small business (business of one = myself).  I even have a name all picked out and everything.  I just haven’t had time or bravery to actually get started in it.  This year, though, I’m going to try to make it a reality.

My experience in organizing so far is fairly limited.  I’ve organized my space and the space of my husband.  I’ve helped people around me in the work place, and I’ve helped people in my family at home, but not extensively.  I’ve done quite a lot of reading about it.  But mostly, it’s been in my own home.  I say that so I can say that these things I talk about are probably things that worked for me in my space.  They might not work for other people.

Actually, let me expand on that further.  The thing about organizing spaces, be it homes or offices or garages or where ever, is that they are only the surroundings to the people who live and work in those spaces.  It’s not just about the space or the things that are filling that space—it’s about the people.  And people are all different and approach spaces differently and have entirely individual ways of looking at and living in their spaces.  So when you approach a space to organize it, the key is actually to find a system that works with the person or persons who will be inside that space.  The objects filling the space will have a lot to do with it, but really, at the foundation, it’s all about the people.

This is why organizing tools don’t always work.  It’s why concepts that worked great for one person will be a complete bust for another person.  Organizing only works when the person inside that space can use the tools or configuration or system to work with their personal style of living.

And since I mentioned tools, let me go back to that.  I will beat this horse again and again.  Organizing tools are only tools for organizing.  They are not magic wands that will wondrously transform your space into something perfect and beautiful and fabulous.  In fact, if a tool doesn’t work, it only becomes just another piece of clutter filling up your space.  I’ve heard about people who go out and buy all these fancy-schmancy expensive organizers and tools and such.  They bring them home, hoping to finally dig their way out of the mess they’ve got in their craft room or extra bedroom or garage or whatever.  But either they can’t figure out how to use the tools or they get too overwhelmed by the idea or they get it all organized and then hate the room because they can’t find anything anymore.

Forgive me if you’re one of those people, but it’s a really stupid idea.  Not that tools are bad—there are a whole lot of really fantastic organizing tools out there.  I have several and will recommend several as I go through this.  But you wouldn’t use a wrench when you should use a hammer.  And you wouldn’t use a hole punch when you should use a scissors.  And you wouldn’t use dry erase markers when you should use paint.  It’s about finding what’s appropriate for you in your space.

So I guess what I’d like you to take away from this post is this:

  1. Organizing is all about people.
  2. Tools are only useful if they work for the people.

And that’s probably enough for today.  Come back in a day or two and I’ll have something up that’s *much* more specific and interesting.