Via Pixabay (2007), CC0 Public Domain
My mom was a big believer in the old adage, “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found that phrase (attributed to Benjamin Franklin, by the way) intimidating. Nothing like a little perfectionism to make us feel bad about an almost clean space. Maybe Benjamin Franklin was a minimalist (he did travel a lot). Or a Type A organizer.
But I digress.
For our purposes, let’s eliminate the perfectionism inherent in the second half of the philosophy and focus on the first part: A place for everything. This is the part we can make happen when we tackle the Y in STYLE (“Yes, it has a home!”) and apply our styles to our systems.
How do we do that? By letting the strength in our styles help us map out a fitting location for all of our things.
I love stuff people are good at putting things together, sometimes in unconventional ways, which is a key concept behind choosing good homes for their things. Often collectors, folks with this style already understand the importance of storing similar items together, and may come up with creative combinations that make storage fun. By keeping like items together, I love stuff folks can store things in a logical way.
I need to see it people are good at putting things where they can see them, and therefore, find them. Building systems on visual cues (like labels and color coding) can help folks with this style to make the transition from putting things down to putting them away so that they worry less about another adage: out of sight, out of mind. By using visual cues, I need to see it folks can easily access their things.
I love to be busy people are good at categorizing. Keeping track of the supplies for their many activities gives them lots of practice at deciding which groups of items should go where. Running from one activity to the next has usually convinced them of the importance of this concept, which allows them to grab and go. By keeping things organized by activity, I love to be busy folks know just where to look for what they need.
Cram and jam people are good at simplifying; if it’s all in one spot, it’s easy to find. Learning to separate their belongings into containers by category allows them to expand their storage and protect their belongings. By minimizing the number of storage locations they use, cram and jammers can track things down quickly.
Drop and run folks are good at backtracking to find things. Retracing their steps (which they do often) may lead them to determine locations that make sense, based on where they naturally drop things, allowing them to build a system based on their natural habits. This backtracking capability serves as a sort of radar when the drop and runner is trying to locate something important.
I know I put it somewhere people are good at putting things away, making them great at finding homes for things. Learning to make those homes logical, rather than haphazard, is the key to their location success. By keeping their “somewheres” logical and/or visible I know I put it somewhere folks can use their tendency to keep things out of sight to not only store things, but also retrieve them quickly.
Every once in a while, we need to be reminded that even if our homes don’t embody the “a place for everything, and everything in its place” philosophy, we’re moving in the right direction. Finding consistent, logical homes for our things is possible when we remember to view our styles as strengths, and plan our systems accordingly.
Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess