Case Study - Office
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Lifestyle: Career oriented single
Mail management and boxes of paperwork
Procrastination and finishing what is started
Spending energy and time finding things
Organization Style & Observations:
The client likes items hidden out of sight. Most items are stored in drawers of cherished pieces of furniture. Several like items were stored in separate places. This made it difficult to remember what she had and where to find it. On occasion, she bought duplicate items.
She had several organized spaces that were working well for her. A common theme of the positive, persistent organization was that it brought her some form of joy, in some cases it was visual, and in others sentimental. The joy she feels likely helps her maintain these spaces and can be leveraged as motivation.
The client uses To-do lists for motivation and prioritizing tasks. Seeing an old list that has everything completed provides a lot of satisfaction. This method works well for her.
The single biggest patterns impacting her organization are piled up paperwork and using inconsistent locations for overflow of like items.
What she had to say when it was done:
"This has been an absolute blast. It is amazing that I have gotten rid of stuff I have been hauling around for more than 20 years! The value was amazing and the experience was so much fun!"
The changes, techniques and success
We implemented a two-stage approach to tackle the daily filing burden. Our client now employs a "Do it now" strategy upon receiving mail to quickly decide what to keep. The kept mail is divided into two trays: "To Do" for weekly action items and "To File" for future filing. This method ensures efficient use of time and eliminates piles of unread mail. Filing is limited to a swift 30 minutes periodically, allowing high-priority actions to be addressed promptly. It's a winning solution that boosts efficiency and eliminates the chaos of unattended mail.
After touching every piece of paper collected over 20 years, and deciding what to keep, definitive categories were established. Active categories, the ones interacted with on a weekly basis, are kept nearby for easy access and filing. As for the inactive categories, like tax paperwork, they have a separate, but equally accessible location. By removing the clutter of rarely accessed older paperwork, filing is manageable. This also promoted long-term organization and makes it effortless to discard documents no longer needed on an annual basis.
The client recognized that storing the same items in different places was making organizing more difficult and consuming her time, energy and resources. Decluttering helped tremendously. Books were reduced by 50%. Office items were collected from drawers in various locations around the house, centralized, and decluttered. Once we could see everything in one place, it was easy to find its new home. Like items with like items. Not only did this open up space for future storage, we created storage solutions that make sense and can be maintained.
Decluttering & Controlled Organization