What professional organizers really mean by "creating systems"

Mar 14, 2023
Natalie's hands drawing an organizing space plan

If you've been following me on social media, you've likely come across the phrase "creating systems" in the context of organizing projects. While it may sound like a trendy catchphrase used by professional organizers, I promise that there’s actually meaning and purpose behind it! Let’s dive in.

The fundamental goals of organization

When kickstarting your organizing journey, whether on your own or with the help of a pro, you’re likely trying to achieve the following three things:

  1. Functionality: The organized space should help you be more efficient.
  2. Ease: The organized space should simplify your daily routines and decision-making processes, alleviating some of your mental load.
  3. Simple maintenance: The organized space should be sustainable over time with minimal effort in terms of upkeep.

Yes, the space will hopefully look nicer, too, but ensuring the space serves you properly is the number one priority! That’s why I highly recommend creating systems wherever you can in your life, and one of those places is certainly in your home. With that said, let’s break this all down a little further.

Creating functional organizing systems

Professional organizers often get called when clients feel a sense of disarray in their living or working spaces. If you continually think, "It just doesn't make any sense in here," rest assured – positive change is within reach! To initiate this change, it's essential to start by asking fundamental questions about the space:

  • Users: Who is using this space?
  • Usage patterns: How is the space typically utilized?
  • Frequency of use: How often is the space accessed or used?
  • Priorities: Which items in the space are accessed the most and the least?

Understanding the day-to-day flow in your home or office is crucial for achieving functionality. For instance, if you're a parent with two kids, say ages 3 and 7, and notice that your pantry is not functioning efficiently, addressing these questions during the organization process can lead to a more tailored and functional result.

Consider making small adjustments based on your family's routines. If your 7-year-old can get her own after-school snack, ensure that all approved snacks are at her eye level so she can grab one whenever she needs to. This eliminates one of the many “Hey Mom!” shouts you likely get each day because the space is serving those who use it. Make sense?

Creating organizing systems that make your life easier

Raise your hand if you despise making decisions. (For what it’s worth, my hand is raised incredibly high.)

The pressure and mental strain associated with decision-making can be overwhelming. To alleviate this burden, one effective strategy is to, of course, systematize!

Professional organizers help you create systems that strategically reduce decision-making in your daily life. Consider these practical examples:

  • Effortless wardrobe choices: When you can see all your clothes nicely organized in front of you, you can put an outfit together quickly rather than staring at your closet or digging around for that oooone shirt you’re thinking of.
  • Streamlined grocery shopping: When you see that the “Snacks” bin in your pantry is running low, you know you have hit the chip aisle on your next grocery trip.
  • Efficient toy clean-up: When every toy has a designated home, clean-up takes just a few minutes…and if you implement the right systems (i.e. organizing by color rather than by category), your young kiddos can even help!

Do you see what I mean? Having an organized space can either help make decision-making significantly easier OR eliminate the need for it at all. You don’t have to think twice about things, increasing your day-to-day efficiency and, in turn, simplifying your life overall.

Creating systems for easy maintenance

Organizing all the rooms in your home is a commendable feat, but the true challenge lies in maintaining that order moving forward. To ensure that your hard work doesn't go to waste, consider the following tips, especially when working with a professional organizer:

  • Label, label, label: Labeling serves as accountability for everyone in your home. For whatever reason, without labels, you’re more willing to just throw a pair of pants in your t-shirt drawer when you’re in a rush. But with labels, I swear, you’d never even think of doing it! It’s a wild mind game, but it works, and you’ll thank yourself later for it. I recommend investing in an affordable label maker like the PTouch Cube Plus, or, if you’re not looking to purchase anything right now, simply use painter's tape and a Sharpie. For children, images or colors on labels help with easy recognition.
  • Put the house to bed: Every night, have every member of your household spend 5-10 minutes putting things back where they belong. Life is chaotic, and items are naturally going to find their way to the wrong spot during the day. That’s okay! Because you’ve created organizing systems that work for you, returning things to their designated homes shouldn’t take long at all.

By integrating these practices, the space should not only be beautifully organized but also sustainable in the long run. The implementation of these thoughtful strategies ensures that the benefits of an organized space extend far beyond the initial effort.

In conclusion, the concept of "creating systems" isn't just a catchy phrase – it's a transformative approach to organizing your life. The impact of well-designed systems extends beyond visual appeal to the very core of functionality, ease, and maintenance. If you're ready to experience these life-changing benefits, consider reaching out for professional assistance. I’m ready to arm you with the tools, knowledge, and recommendations you need to make your space work for YOU! Get in touch – no strings attached – and let’s chat about your organizing goals and how we can achieve them together.


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