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The eSSence of Organization, cont: STRAIGHTEN

Last week we spoke about setting up a system to get and stay organized, and we spoke about the Lean 6 Sigma system as a great way to start. The first step of course, was to see what you actually HAVE that needs organizing…and I gave you some tips to SORT items in a way that makes it easy to start. Sorting gives you a chance to weed out duplicate items and items that have outlived their usefulness (think expired spices, outdated cleaning supplies or over the counter medicines, etc). So moving along…it’s time to put things away and arrange them so that they can be easily reached and retrieved when needed. It’s time to STRAIGHTEN.

Straighten is a very important part of the process—stacking things neatly on a shelf or in a bin so that opening a closet door or the pantry doesn’t create a safety hazard every time you do. The main thing to remember is that straightening has to be something that everyone in your family is on board with--so it has to be logical in the way you approach it. Think of the way your stacked Legos with your kids—bigger on the bottom, smaller on the top…trying to get everything to fit so it stays together.

My team and I were hired to “organize” the supply room of a large magazine publication last year. They have about 40 employees, and their supply room needed help because even though everything apparently had a place, items were placed in their places haphazardly. We wound up purging a lot of outdated publications, and pulling office supplies together so that it made sense where everything was—and needed to remain.. Here are some before and after shots of how we achieved what they needed. The bonus? When we went back 6 months later to do an additional job at the same company, for the most part it STAYED straightened!






Sometimes when my clients think they need help organizing, really all they need is help straightening up what they have. They are so relieved and happy when it’s done because it’s achievable and sustainable!

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