Evaluating your Space with 4 Quick Questions
Yesterday I introduced you to some of the questions I ask when creating a new space. Today
I want to talk about the evaluation process I use to continue perfecting it.
Contrary to popular belief, organizing is never a one-time deal. It’s something you have to evaluate frequently.
Habits change, needs change, possessions change. Your organizing systems have to be able to change with your life.
When I originally set up my office a year and a half ago, my needs were very different. It was mostly a craft space with a small office, now it’s mostly an office with a small need for crafting. My space must adapt.
Before I start doing anything, I stop and evaluate. I need to really zero in on my thoughts about the space.
I go back to the 5 questions I asked in yesterday’s post and I add these ones. Again, I’m using my office as an example and my answers are in brackets.
1. What is working? (It’s large enough to contain the stuff I have, it has a large closet to store my supplies and projects, I have everything I need to work within arms reach)
2. What isn’t working? (My reading chair is ugly and worn out, it’s in my sight line and distracts me. I have too much stuff on my book shelves that I no longer use, my file cabinet is a mess, my closet contains stuff I no longer use, and I don’t even know what is on my bulletin board)
3. What needs to change? (cover the chair with a blanket or slip cover until I can afford to replace it. Clear off my book shelf to contain only the stuff I find either useful or beautiful. Update the file cabinet to contain only the papers that are relevant to today. Declutter the closet of what I am no longer using. go through my bulletin board and decide if it’s still needed.)
Because I stopped to evaluate, I discovered I have 5 areas that are not working for me. That means I have 5 areas that I want to work on. I will choose 1 and only 1 at a time. If I look at all 5 of those areas at once it gets overwhelming.
Looking at them as separate pieces of the whole helps me to focus, and keeps me out of overwhelm. I started my office revamp in September and I’m slowly creating the vision I developed with those initial 5 questions.
My closet and filing cabinet are a huge source of overwhelm for me. So naturally I avoid them. When I finally decide to get those spaces taken care of, I will start at the beginning, asking myself all the questions and doing the evaluation. I may even do it for each shelf. I may have to break it down even farther, by box or drawer. And that’s ok. Those questions are what keep me going. My level of overwhelm will be the gauge to determine how much I can handle at a time.
If you find yourself struggling to get a space organized, try my method, ask yourself the questions, do the evaluation, and create your vision.
I’d love to hear how it goes for you.