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Posts Tagged quantity

“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!”

“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!” So what does Sheriff Brody’s immortal line from Jaws have to do with organizing?  It’s about having the right information before choosing the right solution. In the town of Amity there was a lot of politics and complications involved in fully assessing the scale of the local “shark problem.”  When you declutter, you don’t have those complications.  There should be no rush to choose a vessel for each category before you are clear on how big that category is going to be. One of the questions I am most frequently asked when I start working with a new client is, “what containers can I buy?”  My answer is always to wait and see the quantity we are keeping before choosing the appropriate container.   The rule is QUANTITY DICTATES SYSTEMS. It’s most helpful to be governed by your organizing needs, not by your organizing containers.  I’m amazed at how often a client will empty an old container and ask “Now what am I going do with this?” It’s quite possible you won’t have a need […]

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Organizing is a Piece of Cake

I am often asked what furniture, closets, or shelves to buy and when I answer by saying  “an answer to the question of systems must be preceded by an answer to the question of quantity,” I am given a look that says “Why are you making me eat my brussel sprouts before I eat my cake?”  So be it. Let’s talk cake! If you compare clearing a cluttered room to baking a cake, then asking about furniture and shelves is like asking about the flavor of the frosting before you know the flavor of the cake.  A cluttered room is a loose mess of ingredients.  You can’t start by applying frosting to that mess.  You need the structure of the cake. First you need to sort out the ingredients.  Maybe you have more flour than you need for this cake.  Maybe some of that flour has clumped up and needs tossing.  Maybe you discover you don’t have as much sugar as you thought you did.  Maybe you were planning on a chocolate frosting, but you discover these wonderful fresh strawberries […]

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