Pretty Does Not Mean Organized

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Shocked

The one word that came to me when a new client told me that she has had three different organizers work in her home (prior to me coming over).  While walking through her home and going over the areas that she was unhappy with and listening to her struggles, it was clear to see why things were not working for her.

 What Organizing Isn’t

I’m sure you have seen many images of some very pretty organized spaces.

Pretty Mud Room

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Pretty Organized Space

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Pretty Organized Office

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Pretty Organized Pantry

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Pretty Organized Pantry

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While these are lovely and pretty to look at, the system may not work for you.  Take the two pantry images, for example.  In order for either system to be maintained, when you get new groceries, you would have to have time to ensure that items get put into the containers.   Not everyone has time to do that so this system may not work.

With my new client, every space was organized to look pretty – not organized to work for her and her family.  Humph!

 Functional

While I could spend hours on Pinterest looking at all of the beautiful organizing images, the hard fact is that organizing needs to be functional

FOR YOU!

I could go into any area or space and organize for me, but that means that the space will be organized for me – not you!  How I think may be different from how you think.  For example, my files are all colour coded. While colour coding works for me, it may not work for you.

Here is a snapshot of one drawer in my filing cabinet (blurred out to protect privacy) 😉

color code filing

I know by a very quick glance that yellow are my family folders (one for each of us), red is medical and benefits, while blue is banking and investments.  This system works for me and it’s very easy to find what I’m looking for quickly.  While the filing cabinet could have had all the tabs on one side, this system works for me and my family.  Honestly, it’s also not that pretty to look at.  I see I have one yellow folder behind the red ones – which should be with all of the other the yellow ones.  I originally had that as yellow but need to change that now to a blue folder (my filing system is still evolving and maturing with my family).  It’s a work in progress.  Sure, when I’ve had time to purge through the paperwork it will look much better, but that job is reserved for a rainy Saturday.   While this colour-coded system works well for me, systems like this

Alphabetical Filing

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might work better for you.  Having everything alphabetized might be more efficient for you.

Get my point?

When looking to organize any space, it is important to know your habits and your situation.  Please don’t waste money on pretty.  While organizing can be pretty (and I am a firm believer of making every space beautiful), make sure it is functional first.

Sheri Bruneau  Get It Together

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Comments

  1. on 12.06.2014
    at 1:35 PM

    Excellent post. I always have this conversation up front with my clients, because effective organizing systems have to be something you can realistically live with.

    • on 12.06.2014
      at 5:41 PM

      Thanks Matt. I also ask my clients if they have recently seen something on TV or on Pinterest. When they show me what they would like, we then talk about why it would (or wouldn’t) work for their particular situation. ~Sheri

  2. on 13.06.2014
    at 6:04 AM

    Loved your post. I think I need to verbalized more often with my clients what I am doing when I ask all the questions at the beginning of our assessment. I like to get to know their routines so that I can come along side and help the area function better with the changes we are about to implement.

    • on 13.06.2014
      at 3:02 PM

      Hi Beth,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment! I hope you have a great day, Sheri

  3. on 12.08.2014
    at 4:15 AM

    It’s simple. Function first. You can always make the function “pretty”, but the focus needs to be on how the space functions based on the client’s needs. If the system is not going to work for them, it is not going to stay organized.

    • on 13.08.2014
      at 9:41 AM

      100% agree! Thanks for stopping by Audrey.

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