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Resolving to reduce clutter and get better organized seems to be a lingering item on many people’s “to-do” lists, yet for many of us, it can be difficult to get started. While organization is an essential tool for navigating our complex modern lives, many people struggle to find their personal style of organization and a system that works within their busy lives at home, at the office or on-the-go. Just as specific organizational needs vary from person to person, so too do organizational styles.
“It’s important to understand your own personal style of organization,” says Melanie Charlton, organizational expert, product designer and founder of Clos-ette. “What works to help one person get organized may be frustrating for another. By defining your personal style, you can better identify tactics and tools that will work to keep you on track both personally and professionally.”
Unsure how to assess what style of organizing works for you? The Post-it Brand offers the Do More Your Way online organizational style quiz to help you classify your organization style. Through a series of questions, the quiz helps users determine which of five organizational styles best suits their personalities and helps to identify organization solutions to fit their needs.
Conductors organize by “leading” information and documents into a cohesive operation, much as a musical conductor does. Implementers attack organization with a specific goal in mind, such as getting organized for a job search. Curators keep everything and need a system that allows them to quickly reference archived material. Improvisers organize outside the box and are constantly looking for new tools to aid in organization or new ways to use familiar tools. Gatherers like to have all their work materials close at hand and put their emphasis on organized filing systems.
Once you’ve identified your organizational style, focus on these key areas where most of us need help at home, in the office and on the go:
Whether or not your family removes their shoes upon entering the house and leaves miscellaneous keys, mail, loose change and other items by the door, entryways are a primary target for accumulated clutter.
Assess the type of clutter in your entryway. Is it made up of items that have a legitimate right to be near the door – your shoes and car keys, for example – or are there things that should live in another part of your home, such as mail (in your home office), loose change (in a coin jar) and sporting equipment (in the garage)? Decide what belongs and remove and relocate things that do not. Invest in organization and storage solutions such as a key rack that can hang on the wall by the door or a shoe rack where your family can neatly store their shoes upon entering the home to reduce clutter in the foyer.
In the office
We live in a digital world, but paper remains a reality for most office settings. Taming paper is a top objective of organizational efforts for many of us.
To organize the flow of documents in your office, consider adopting the “one touch” policy. When a piece of paper lands on your desk, touch it just once – long enough to decide its appropriate home, and then put it there immediately. Avoid making stacks of paper that you intend to look at and assess later; that’s how clutter evolves. Instead, use an in-box for documents that you haven’t yet reviewed and an active box for things you’re currently working with. Anything that doesn’t fit in either box should get filed immediately with appropriate labeling.
On the go
For many of us, work life is no longer confined to the office – especially for busy working parents. Whether you are running from meeting to meeting or on the road, make sure you have all the essentials for working efficiently and productively while on-the-move.
Products from the Post-it Mobile Attach and Go Collection, a new line of products designed for more efficient and effective organization on the go, can help mobile workers stay on track. Designed to stick, insert or clip to items you carry, Post-it Mobile Products work seamlessly together for a customizable on-the-go organization system. For example, the Post-it Mobile Attach and Go Pockets come in three different sizes and stick to the outside of laptops, iPads, notebooks and planners. Not only do they hold essential miscellaneous items such as important papers, receipts, bills, office supplies and more in one convenient location, but they are also translucent so you can easily see the contents while on the move. They also stick securely, but remove cleanly, so you can re-use or move them as needed.
“Today, more than ever before, people are on the move for their work and personal lives,” Charlton says. “No matter how busy your career, family life or daily routine, it’s important to find organizational tools that are versatile and convenient to help you create an organizational system adapted to your lifestyle.”