Drug testing

Thinking Outside the Box

Much of my time as a Professional Organizer is spent helping people to put things into containers and boxes. But, success in this business requires as much thinking "outside the box" as it does about putting things into containers. I was reminded of this recently, while consulting with clients who own a large, well-appointed suburban home. Two of the issues that the clients presented were the lack of closet space on the main floor, and the constant clutter on a small, built-in desk. Limited closet space resulted in coats' being deposited in the front entry. Shoes were removed inside the garage and dropped on the floor, by the other door into the house. The homeowners were tired of tripping on shoes. And the last thing they wanted (guests) to see was a wall of coats hanging in the foyer. So, the challenge was clear: This active family needed more closet space.

The second problem was the built-in desk. Located adjacent to the kitchen, the desk was an obvious clutter trap. It was probably designed as a bill paying area, or maybe a place for children to do homework. But, the family had a home office, and the children were teens. Over time, this space had become a phone desk, magazine dump, mail dump, clutter repository, etc. So, I asked the client some questions:

"Do you use this desk?"

"A little. For this and that."

"Do you need the desk?"

"No."

"Would you miss the desk if it went away?"

"No."

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"I'm thinking about ripping out the desk, adding some doors, and turning the space into a closet. Is that what you're thinking?"

"Exactly."

What's the point? The architect designed a built-in desk, the builder built a built-in desk, and the homeowner bought a built-in desk. But, the space wasn't working as a desk. So, we took the same space, and gave it a different name: closet. Same space-different use. Better use of space. More productive use of space. More effective use of space. The ability to make these connections, and visualize new uses is part of thinking out of the box. Sometimes we have to stand back, remove the preconceptions, and let our imagination work. Containers and boxes are important. And sometimes we need to put the containers aside, and think out of the box. It's an important part of learning to become organized.

? 2005 OASIS professional organizers?

Marc Rifkin is a Professional Organizer, and owner of OASIS professional organizers, which provides home and office organizing solutions in Greater Seattle.

?2005 OASIS professional organizers
may be reprinted with full author credit, bio, and all links intact only

In The News:

Beachgoers in Bonita Spring, Florida were treated to a strange sight last week: an alligator going for a swim.
A remarkable map created in space over 50 years ago could lead a modern-day explorer to the sites of treasure-laden shipwrecks in the Bahamas.
Scientists studying bones unearthed from an ancient tomb in China’s Shaanxi Province have discovered the remains of a new but totally extinct species of ape.
Mars may be known as the Red Planet, but it's a "blue dune" image NASA has released that's got everyone talking.
Experts in Italy say they have found the earliest surviving work by Leonardo da Vinci.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is pouring £3million ($4 million) into a project to create killer mosquitoes that destroy each other through sex.
Bedrock under Antarctica is rising more swiftly than ever recorded — about 1.6 inches (41 millimeters) upward per year. And thinning ice in Antarctica may be responsible.
A new study validates Einstein's theory of general relativity in a distant galaxy for the first time.
On Mars, the sky is dust.
A small moon rock gifted to Cambodia by the United States amid the Vietnam War has resurfaced after being all but lost to time and strife.

Organizing Tips to Help You Conquer the Laundry Monster

Laundry. You sort, you wash, you fold, you blink ?... Read More

Making Life Easier, with NLP Chunking!

You know, in psychology there is a rule, especially within... Read More

10 Simple Steps to a More Organized Household

1. Divide big jobs into smaller jobs. Make a list... Read More

Spring Clean Your Life

Spring is here and its time to sweep away the... Read More

Tired of Endless Chores and To-Dos? Stop Running Around in Circles and Enjoy Life Again

Do you feel like you are running around in circles,... Read More

Kids Clutter: Organizing at Every Age

Our children are probably the biggest clutter creators we have... Read More

Getting Organized - Getting Fit

In a speech entitled "Organized Living in a Disorganized World"... Read More

Saying Goodbye to Stacks of Paper and Distractions

A daily journal will save you time, reduce stress and... Read More

Breathing Life Into Dead Spaces

"I don't have enough room!" -- this is a common... Read More

The 4-Keys to Clutter Free Living - Design a Space that Nurtures Your Soul

Decluttering is a simple-to-learn process, once you break it down... Read More

Relieve Vacation Stress By Planning Ahead

Cindy looks at the calendar and sighs. Ah, the end... Read More

Get Organized - Stay Organized

My mother is one of the most productive people I... Read More

It?s Spring Cleaning Time? Let?s Make Room For Abundance!

I gathered some things you can do this spring while... Read More

Getting Organized For The New Year - Part 2

In part 1, we discussed a system you could use... Read More

3-Step Clean Sweep Program to Organize

3-Step Clean Sweep Program 1 -... Read More

Simplify Your Life! No Really...Simplify Your Life!

We hear it every day."Buy this product, and simplify your... Read More

Essential Tips for the Kitchen

* Cupboards and drawers should contain items that are grouped... Read More

Get Organized: 10 Universal Laws

The Law of the 1st StepA good first step in... Read More

Creating The Perfect Closet

Your closet is often the first thing you see in... Read More

Your Organizing DNA

Do you like storing your papers on top of your... Read More

Create A Working Mail Center

I talk about the mail a lot in my newsletter,... Read More

Organization Tips - How To Get Things Done

What stops you from 'getting things done?'Have you ever started... Read More

Clutter Control

Remember when you charged into the office that first day,... Read More

What Balance Looks Like For You

Recently, in an online group, we talked about "balance" and... Read More

The Problem With To-Do Lists

Do you use to-do lists? Do you find it satisfying... Read More

sodium street lights smart street light Pete's produce ..