Macro and Micro organizing!
Do you get sidetracked while attempting to organize your home or office? Tiny discoveries (and re-discoveries!) distract you along the way. My organizing client and I are chugging along, making beautiful progress in any given room as patches of bare floor begin to emerge, when suddenly I look over my shoulder and find my client has sat down on the floor pouring over a box of loose photos making sentimental noises over each one… And the project comes to a temporary halt!
No matter what space you’ve decided to tackle, there is always something that can make you lose focus- paperwork, books, tangled jewelry, photos and keepsakes are usually the biggest culprits!
One way to overcome this is to practice the technique I’ve decided to call MACRO-and-MICRO Organizing.
Organize big, then organize small. Make giant, vague categories of items first; then go into each of those Macro piles, and Micro organize.
Macro and Micro applied throughout your home
When organizing your closet, make your Macro piles: Tops, bottoms, long hang (dresses and long jackets), undergarments, accessories, jewelry. Now go into each category and Micro organize: Split tops into sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve. Divide bottoms into pants, shorts and skirts. Separate jewelry into necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, etc.
If you’re cleaning up your bathroom cabinets and drawers, start with the Macro categories of medical, dental care, eye care, makeup, hair care, skin care, and so on. Then Micro organize- in your medical items, separate into groupings of First Aid, cold & cough, supplements, allergies, and prescriptions.
Let’s say it’s the home office you’re tidying: Make Macro piles of office supplies, paperwork to go through, electronics and cables, etc. Then organize the supplies into writing implements, paper pads, fasteners, adhesives and so on. With papers, Micro organize the giant Macro pile into To Do/requires action, reference papers to file away, papers to scan, recycling, and shredding. Now you’ve got it! If you were to start by picking up a piece of paper and trying to act on it before you’ve sorted all of your papers to prepare for filing, you might go down a paper hole.
Ok, but why bother to do this? Why not, when organizing your entire closet, start with untangling your necklaces? Why is it so bad to pause and read every single greeting card in the stack you just found? Because… You’ll likely get distracted, waste time and go to bed surrounded by unfinished piles. When I clean out my dresser and start with the tiny nitty-gritty or the memory box in the bottom drawer… I’ve screwed myself on that project!
The point is, don’t let the small things in life or in your home slow you down. Give yourself ample time, when you begin any organizing project, to make big piles, then break them down into smaller categories. See how much faster and efficiently you can do it!
I talk more about Macro and Micro organizing with my friend Kay over at The Organized Soprano in this video.
What have you found while organizing that has really thrown you off the entire project?