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Posts Tagged containers

Letting Containers Organize You

Letting Containers Organize You

One of the biggest mistakes people make when getting organized is buying containers first. However, once you declutter and get organized, containers CAN play an active role in helping you STAY organized, if you choose them strategically. They can then be like organizing tour guides.

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Getting Organized: Save Dessert for Last

Getting Organized: Save Dessert for Last

The number one mistake people make, when trying to get organized, is to run out and buy containers, before they know exactly what they are containing. It’s certainly tempting. I mean look at that sampling of gorgeous containers picture to the right. They’re like candy. Like any dessert, they should be saved for last.

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The Absolute Worst Way to Get Organized

The Absolute Worst Way to Get Organized

There must be thousands of resources out there offering the “easiest way to get organized,” (including mine) so I thought I would offer up some advice on the absolute worst ways to get organized. Here are seven surefire tips!

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The Art of Taking Away

Michelangelo is famous for defining sculpture as the “art of taking away,” as opposed to painting, which is the art of adding on. Good organizing is also about the art of taking away. The question a new prospect most commonly asks me is “what do you charge?,” but the question a new client most commonly asks is “what should I buy?”  The hope seems to be that I can recommend some magical containers, that will solve the organizing challenges at hand. Effective organizing begins with subtraction, not addition. Recently I have been taking different approaches to the same message: organizing is about taking the less important stuff out of the way so that you can get to the most important stuff. I have been fortunate to see the great sculptures of Michelangelo, including his David in Florence.   Like most tourists, I had come a long way to see Michelangelo’s David, so I wasn’t going to leave without spending some time studying the sculpture and trying to understand what all the hubbub was about.  What was the artist’s vision? First and […]

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Organizing Outside The Box

Boxes are indispensable tools for GETTING organized, but to STAY organized, you need to “think outside the box.” It’s the first question I get when an excited client agrees to begin work with me, “What kind of containers should I buy?”  I hate to dampen their enthusiasm, but I always explain that I will determine the appropriate containers and furniture AFTER we determine how much we are containing.  It’s not unusual to end up needing NO new containers! We do use a ten pack of banker’s boxes, but strictly as sorting tools.  They allow us to focus on editing one category at a time and the boxes get reused multiple times, but ultimately the goal is to empty the boxes, not fill them. A full, lidded box is great for stacking and saving space, but it can be a dangerous solution if it ends there.  Organizing systems need to be designed around use, not concealment. Shelves, hooks, and slots make better solutions for items that get used the most. For items that get used less often, but still need to […]

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Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts: #7

This is the seventh in a series of Top 10 Closet Storage Do’s and Don’ts. 7. DON’T rely on your memory to identify a container’s contents. “I THINK I can remember what’s in there.”  Sure, you know now and maybe for a couple of weeks, but over time your memory of containers’ contents fades.  That’s OK!  You have enough challenges in life with your busy schedule and this unforgiving economy.  You don’t need to add “memorize contents of box” to your list! DO label everything. So don’t think.  Know.  A clear label takes out the guess- work.  I often say the best organizing system is so easy it feels like you’re cheating.  Why NOT make it that easy?  Even with clear boxes and drawers, you should add clearly legible labels.  The written word reinforces the visual clues and if the container is emptied, the label provides a reminder of what the container has been designated for. Today’s key to unlocking clutter. Labels enable.

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Contain Yourself!

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, October 2008  CONTAIN YOURSELF! For many of us, I think the real excitement in organizing comes from the opportunity to buy more stuff, namely CONTAINERS.  But how can you choose the right container if you don’t know how much you’re containing? Twenty-two years ago when I attended the School of Visual Arts we would be fortunate enough to see some of the foremost cartoonists of the day demonstrate their craft.  Invariably there would always be one student who would pipe up and ask, “Ooh, what kind of pen are you using?” as if buying the right tool would turn this kid into the next great cartoonist.  So what does this story from my art school experience have to do with organizing containers? Simply this.  It’s not about buying the right tool, it’s HOW you use it.  Here are five tips for picking the right container. 1. Quantity First.  A question I often hear from clients after we empty one of their containers is “Now what do I do with this?”  The answer is, […]

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