Hope for the Chronically Disorganized
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By Jennifer Vander Klipp
There are plenty of articles out there on getting organized. Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to write if you can’t find your computer, your desk, or that research you need for your latest article.
I can hear the groans now. Been there, done that. Right? How many of you have tried to get on some organization plan, only to have it fail after just a few weeks or even days? That’s because most filing systems are put together by people who organize vertically. These are the people who actually use filing cabinets for the purpose they are intended for, not for hiding junk that doesn’t fit on your desk.
However, those of us who need help getting organized are horizontal organizers. We live by the motto “out of sight, out of mind” and we need all of our stuff spread out around us where we can see it. Over the desk. Over the floor. Out where we can see it. We tend to pile it instead of file it. Sound familiar?
Take courage, there’s help!
Being a horizontal organizer in a vertically-organized world is like being a lefty. Most of the world isn’t designed to accommodate you. At times, this is frustrating. According to a Steelcase survey, pilers are the minority with only 27% of the workforce acknowledging this trait.
The problem with this method is that there is a limited amount of horizontal surfaces in our lives. So our desks get buried under papers and books, our floors become mazes of piles that are hazardous to wade through, we stack things on top of filing cabinets and chairs, and we can’t find anything and have no room to work on anything.
But trying to force ourselves into a vertically-organized mode isn’t going to work. You cannot organize in a way that does not feel natural to you.
So what’s a horizontal organizer to do? Embrace the pile.
We need a method of organization that fits the way our minds work. We need to keep things out where we can find them, but in a way that doesn’t overpower our desk and turn into the kind of the clutter and chaos that kills creativity.
Piles can work. Piles aren’t bad. The key is to make them specific enough that you can find what you need in a relatively short amount of time.
There is a method to the madness however.
Use these ideas as springboards, not as something cut in stone. The main rule is to find out what works for you, so you can find what you need and be creative without feeling stressed out by chaos.
Finally, use containers that are visually appealing. Baskets, cute cubbies, trays, colored folders, find whatever is fun enough to look at that you will use. You can stack your piles in these baskets on shelves this way too.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what are filing cabinets are for? Things you feel bad about throwing away or never want to see again.
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A California native transplanted to the Midwest, Jennifer Vander Klipp has over 15 years of experience in business, marketing, and publishing. Over this time, she has held the titles of marketing director, managing editor, graphic designer, and director of communication.
Her skills include complex project management, writing and editing, marketing, and graphic design. She is an agented author, having ghost-written nonfiction and written novels, curriculum, and award-winning articles and short stories.
You can find her at:
Email: email@example.com (mention CoachTalk)
Pinterest: Jennifer Vander Klipp
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