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…’
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!
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