Thoughts on life, the universe, and everything, from a fifty-something Canadian goddess....
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Principles of Clutter Clearing 3: Observe Your Work Style
I wish I could say that there is one perfect formula for how to organize, and if you just implement it, your life will be all better.
But my experience is that each life is different. Each job must be tailored to the specific strengths and limitations of each person and situation. So a big part of what we do is to assess how you are already using your space and then adapt and create ways that support you moving towards what you desire.
We look at what you are already doing, how you are doing it, what your goals are, and what habits or physical limitations keep you from your desired outcome.
(Frequently used items should be in easy reach. Store rarely used items on the top shelves, have a sturdy step-stool handy, or in some cases, do not use the top shelves at all.)
While there are general principles that guide how we help you organize, each one must be flexible. Each one has to respond to the client and the space. Each one guides the decisions we make taking into account all the other principles, the client's work style, and the space we are working in.
(Tall people have their own challenges with standard-height counters.)
One client, let's call her "Emily," has a very visually motivated work style. She responds to what she sees needs doing, and doesn't tend to get to things that are out of sight. As an example, for Emily, seeing a broken toaster would bump her into ordering a new toaster, whereas seeing, "order a new toaster" on a list might leave Emily feeling stuck. Emily had written plenty of lists in her life but wasn't getting things done. So we adapted to her actual work style.
In Emily's case, how she worked clashed with the Feng shui principle of having everything tucked away and serene at the end of the workday. She discovered that if she stacks visual cues in her workspace, she plows through her to-do "lists" in a much speedier fashion. Now she sets up her workspace each night with visual cues for the next morning, and now has little trouble getting started or getting through. She ignores the rule saying everything should be tidied at the end of the day in order to honor her need for visual cues.
So don't get bogged down in organizational "rules." Be sure to adapt them according to how you actually work! The "rules" are there to support you in getting where you want to go. They are not there to be one more thing you have to implement perfectly. "Perfectly" means adapting the concepts to work for you, based on how you already work. It's magical.