The Three Bad Words of Organizing

By Jill Weaver

The art of organizing and time management is a continual study in life.  In this pursuit, there exist three words that work against us and are known as the ‘bad words of organizing’.  They are commonly used words that most people would not think twice about using.  These words represent lost documents, uncompleted tasks and hanging onto clutter.  If you are striving for an organized life, look for these words in your work and life and try to eliminate them for good.

Miscellaneous is often a lonely file that creeps into many filing systems.  When was the last time you looked for miscellaneous?  This title ends up being a dumping ground for indecision.  Instead, while sorting your items and papers I suggest creating a category for “I don’t know yet”.  At the end of your organizing project you revisit these papers and decide if those items can join other already created files or if it deserves its own new file (with a specific title!).  By deciding now you can avoid the black hole of the miscellaneous category and be able to find your papers when you need them.

Later is found when we talk about trying to get things done.  “I’ll attend to that later”, “I’ll put that away later”, and “I’ll make that decision later”.  Later is another word for delayed decision making.  It also is the root cause for piles, missed deadlines and disorganization.  Take a few minutes to decide to decide and get that one decision complete.  By making these decisions today, you can live a simpler, more organized life.

Just in Case is often whispered in our closets and garages. “I’ll hold onto this just in case”.  Remember that holding onto items ‘just in case’ costs you time, money and storage real estate.  One year is a good mark to determine if a ‘just in case’ item is worth keeping.

For those who are striving for an organized life, try to work these words out of your vocabulary.  You will be able to find things easier, get things done more efficiently and have less clutter.



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