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One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Today, I’m pleased to welcome guest blogger Cena Block of Sane Spaces. Besides being a Professional Organizer and Mom-Preneur Clarity Catalyst, she is also the President of the Northern New Jersey chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Cena’s talking about a key organizing philosophy—grouping ‘like’ with ‘like.’ Read on to learn more about what she calls, ‘one of the oldest organizing tricks in the book…’

 
Pattern Recognition is the one differentiating skill set that organized people have – we see and recognize patterns where there aren’t any!  It’s why an organizer can walk into a chaotic situation and be successful – we immediately see “like with like” and patterns that work!

What I’ve found with clients in their homes and offices is that for you to be successful, you need to begin to recognize how you create patterns in your environment naturally, in order to create organizing solutions that stick.

One of the oldest organizing tricks in the book is to group ‘like’ things together. Organizers call this: putting “like with like” – or grouping all items that seem to go together, together. The interesting thing about this process is that each of us does this step a little differently.

As part of my community service, I offer a class to area elementary schools called NAPO In The Schools. This class is designed to teach 2nd – 5th graders basic organizing principles. There is an informational segment where the kids are introduced to “Disorganized Drake” who can’t seem to get it together. He frequently loses homework, can’t find supplies, and generally has a really rough time as a typical 4th grader!  I ask the students to help Drake by applying simple organizing strategies to his books, his room, his desk and his backpack.

The class ends with an exercise where students are given a bag of school supplies and asked to group them “like with like”.  It always fascinates me that some will group them by function (all things you can write with together), by color (all blues go together), by category (all pens, all crayons, all toys), or by some other construct that makes sense to them alone.

What patterns do you recognize? What makes you comfortable? Do you prefer to sort by color, by use, by function, by location? Whatever works for you, is the right answer.  Determining which “one of these things is not like the other” is really up to you and the better you get at recognizing your own abilities for pattern recognition – and accept them as so, the quicker you’ll be able to move forward with organizing your items!

Copyright 2011: Cena Block

Need help at home? Download my Products:

Time To Toss It E-Book –
 http://sanespaces.com/products/organizing/
This is a full color guide that gives guidelines on how long to keep items and when to get rid of them. (There is a whole entire section on how long to keep paper and files.)
Dimensions Workbook – http://sanespaces.com/products/organizing/
This is a self-driven workbook that offers you the support of working with your very own Professional Organizer without the hourly fees.
Get Organized To Keep Your Family Sane Ebook/Audio Tipshttp://sanespaces.com/products/organizing/
This e-book and the accompanying weekly audio tips provide nearly 6 months of weekly organizing ideas to implement for your home and family. Whether you have a slew of children, or are kid-free, these tips are modeled after “best practices” that work with real families.
 
Cena Block is the Owner of Sane Spaces and a Mom-Preneur Clarity Catalyst. She helps people find sanity through clearing their spaces, creating systems, understanding themselves, and getting the support they need for success. Her Slice of Sanity eZine gives subscribers ideas and inspiration to get clear and out from under whatever is stopping them. If you are ready to get sane, you can click here to sign up for a F.R.E.E. e-zine subscription to Slice of Sanity. Learn more from Cena at her Facebook page, on her blog, and on Twitter.
 
Related post: Group It! April 25, 2010

About Stacey Agin Murray

Stacey is a professional organizer & speaker in New Jersey specializing in residential organizing, time, and paper management challenges. She also authored The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook: Let Systems and 101 Modern Sample Thank You Notes Take You From Overwhelmed to Organized.

Categories: Basic Organizing Principles, Guest Blogger, NAPO-NNJ

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NAPO Member NAPO Golden Circle  Bergen Health and Life 2015 POWR
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