How Dedicated Zones Work
“Dedicated Zone” is an expression professional organizers (like me) throw around a lot, but what exactly does it mean and how does it work?
A dedicated zone is an area, as small as a drawer or as large as a room, that one reserves exclusively for one category. The dedicated zone should be determined at the END of a purging process. Unless you are clear on the quantity of a category you want to keep, in relation to the other categories you want to keep, it doesn’t make sense to choose the size of a dedicated zone. Your choice will probably too big or too small.
Let’s take crafts for example. Unless you look at all your craft materials all at once and make some choices about what should stay and what should go, it’s hard to know how much space to dedicate to them.
Perhaps you’ve started a home-based business and you need more space for an office and have less time for doing crafts. After evaluating the balance, you may determine that you can dedicate only one shelf to keep your crafts.
If, on the other hand, your last child has left the nest and you’ve been looking forward to spending your newly-liberated time on your crafts, then it may make sense to dedicate an entire room to them.
Whether your dedicated zone is large or small, it is important to confine your category to it (until your lifestyle changes significantly.) Always make a generous allowance for room to grow, but when you hit that limit, tell yourself, “OK that’s it. Something’s got to go.” The reason that this limitation is so important is that the overflow will start to encroach on OTHER dedicated zones.
In the home business scenario, if you find yourself taking on more crafts than you can fit on your craft shelf, they may start to take up valuable space in your new home office.
In the craft room scenario, if you store boxes of junk that doesn’t fit in your garage in your new craft room, then you start to lose something that is important to you.
The reason I chose the truck image for this blog is because it is one of the world’s largest land transports and someone has STILL found a way to push its limits. Give yourself reasonable limits, then stay within them. Limitations breed freedom. That’s what dedicated zones are all about.