The Philosophy of Organization; Ideas Included!

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What is organization? Why do people organize? What is the benefit? More importantly how can one organize something? What I hope to accomplish in this Instructable is describing what organization is and how you can apply the different concepts of organization. I hope to help people better understand themselves so that they can better go about organizing their rooms, their shelves, and their garages--along with pretty much anything else.

Note: Yeah, this won't be like your everyday Instructable. But please read until the end!!! You might learn something!

Step 1: Being Efficient

The biggest reason that people organize something is because it
is inefficient. Somethings can be inefficient if it is wasting space or keeping your work flow from operating smoothly. I talk about not wasting space and what this means in step 5.

I think this needs an example; let’s call it the box of tools example.

If you have a huge, cluttered box full of many different kinds of tools it is inefficient because if you want to find a specific tool it will take forever because you have to dig through a bin of other tools. If you want to make it more efficient you have to categorize the tools and put them in their own separate bin. That way you will save time finding a tool, and that makes it more efficient.

The same thing is true for if you have a large box of different kinds of nails and screws. The problem with this is that every time you want to find a specific kind of nail or screw you have to dig around looking for it. Also, you will never know when to get more of that kind of nail or screw. The easiest way to solve this is to separate the different kinds nails and screws and put them in their own little drawer.

Organizing is taking something that is inefficient and making it efficient. It is taking something that is not great and making it great. One big way to make organizing more efficient is to label things. That way you can find things faster and speed things up. I talk more about this in step 4.

Step 2: Perfectionists Vs. Non-perfectionists

When figuring out how to organize something it is good to know whether
you're a perfectionist or not. If you're like me you’re probably more on the perfectionists side of things.

Ways to know if you're a perfectionist or not is if you want all the boxes on a shelf to be the exact same kind of box, or if you want all the labels on the boxes to be exactly the same with the same handwriting or printing. If you're hanging tools on a wall you might want them to be all categorized for the different tasks they will accomplish, or they all have to be the same distance apart from each other. If any of these things are true for you, then you're probably a perfectionist. Being a perfectionist can be very helpful in life and is not always a bad thing, although many people associate it with a bad character. It's what you do with that drive for perfection that matters.

The biggest way to know if you're not a perfectionist is if you can’t care how things look. If you don't care about the way things look on a shelf or if the labels to boxes on a shelf are totally different are some examples.

Step 3: Categories

An important step in organizing is categorizing everything you are organizing. This can be a very simple step but effects the final efficiency which makes it important. Sometimes it's not easy when deciding the categories is hard. A good way to be efficient is to put everything into good categories.

Step 4: Labeling Categories

There are two big foundations to organizing: not wasting space
and labeling the categories. In this step I will talk about labeling the categories and in the next step I will talk about not wasting space.

Labeling the categories pretty much means what it says, but more specifically it means putting labels on categories. Chest of small drawers full of different kinds of nails the way to label it is to put a label on each drawer with the name/length of each kind of nail. Say you have a box full of different kinds of sandpaper, then obviously you would label the box as sandpaper. If you want to organize your school better, you can put course material into different drawers and label them with the subject name.

Now this sounds super simple, because it is, but it is extremely helpful. It saves time trying to find a certain item. It can help clean up because most everything will already have a spot and it won't take that much time to locate it.

Step 5: Not Wasting Space

The second foundation to organizing is not wasting space. One
thing to note is that there is a difference between wasting space and keeping the space open for your brain to flow smoothly.

What I mean by this is it's good to have space to keep the mind open. Your atmosphere effects your brain and working habits. So, if your kitchen, desk, garage, or workshop is super crowded it will be harder to have a clear mind, despite how clean or organized your work area might be. So, your shelves should not be open and have extra space, but your work surfaces should. This also means that you might not want to put shelves wherever you have wall-space.

You don't have to fill every available space with something; you can keep areas clear. Wasting space is simply not using the space you have well. If you have space that is not being used for anything and can't be, then it should be organized to be more efficient because it is wasting space.

Step 6: Practical Applications

Great ways to organize things are cubby holes, drawers with labels, and hanging items on a wall (if they're the right shape, that is).

Cubby holes are a great way to organize big objects on a shelf so that they're always easy to see and find. They also make things easier to put away when you're done with them.

Labeled draws are another great way to organize things. You can organize your school subjects with them if your're in college or organize your art supplies in them too. If they're big drawers then you can fit bigger categories or things in them like all your yarn or sewing projects or you can use them to store finished projects.

Finally, hanging bigger and usually flatter things on a wall is a great way to get things off of a desk but in a way so that you can find them and get them easily. This is a great way to organize items or tools that you use everyday. You can find something fast and put it back quickly when you're done using it.

So, now that you've come to the end of this Instructable, go organize something!! Show me pictures! Also, if you think this Instructable is missing something, post a comment below about it for others to see. Have a great day!

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    2 Discussions

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    russ_hensel

    9 days ago

    Very nice. If this interests you see also:
    (16) 10 Bullets, #8: "ALWAYS BE KNOLLING". By Tom Sachs - YouTube


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    kpkrause10

    10 days ago

    Very helpful! I really need to organize my tools.