All Systems Go! Five Steps To Building Systems That Work For You

Hey there! I want to discuss systems today. "What do you mean?" you ask. Lemme tell you - so glad you asked!

If there is good organization, but no system in place to keep it that way, the dollars spent for organizing were largely wasted. (Ugh, it pains me to say that...) But how do we create systems that will not only work but manage gear long-term?

Bad habits cause clutter. Systems build good habits to contain and manage clutter.

How to create systems that work (forevvvvvveeeeeerrrr)

1) identify the goal - break the goal of the system down to its most basic elements. Let’s use the example of dealing with daily mail. Mail is a constant in every home. You don’t want piles of mail everywhere and you need to be able to find things that are important, recycle the junk mail, and pay bills. These are the main goals. Goals help to identify the best system to use.

2) identify the place - where in your home will you store and house the elements of the mail? Can the filing cabinet be in the same area as the stamps, and the recycle bin? Thinking through the proximity of the items needed in the system will help you break it into pieces and to be more successful in instituting the system.

3) look at how you live you life - if you get the mail once a week or once a month, you need to take time to go through a fairly massive stack of mail. (I would cry!) If you get your mail every day, going through mail takes only a few seconds. What small changes can you make to grant yourself an easier time in dealing with clutter?

4) set up the system and try it out - I get my mail everyday when I come home. I walk past the garage recycle bin and chuck the junk mail in as I walk by. I sort the rest by person (we have five people here who all receive mail) and put each person's mail into their own designated spot for mail. Anything I open that needs to be filed goes into a "To File" drawer in my office. Anything I need to take action on goes into a "To Do" drawer in my office. The key to these drawers is that they are not super large. When they are looking a little full, I take care of the things inside. If I go through it once a week, it's always very manageable. I got these drawers from Container Store. A word about stacks. You never, ever know what's in all those stacks. Clients tell me that they do know, and they may have a pretty good idea, but that doesn't help when you need to produce an important document. Get something small like these drawers and you physically can't make a giant stack. #keepitmanageable #stacksarethedevil

5) Change up the system if it isn't working - small tweaks or even full scale revamps of the system are fine, as long as you are trying to get to the bottom of why the system isn't working. It has to work with your life, your brain, and your level of clutter. This is why I check in with my clients a few months after implementation if the system is working for them. If it's not, I suggest a few changes to try. This is a work in progress! There is a perfect system for everyone! No one is hopeless, I promise!

I used the example of mail, but anything can fit here. Laundry, groceries and menu planning, long-term goals and projects - anything! And finally, I am always happy to help put together a system for you. All it takes is a few questions and a tour of your space (this can be virtual too!).

Head on over to to book a free in-home consultation to get your custom system created specifically for you!

Have fun with it and let me know your results...


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