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Organizing By The Numbers

Organizing By The Numbers


My husband is a numbers guy. I am not. Some people just think better using numerical terms or prefer quantifying things and he definitely does. I also have a fellow NAPO-CT chapter member who is an accountant and I've heard her say many a time that everything can be solved using math. So this post is for the black and white, numbers crunching folks! 



I give you my take on how you can organize using numbers:



I'm a firm believer in the 1 in / 1 out rule. If something new enters your home something must then leave. It's a game of balance and helps keep clutter at bay.



The saying: If it takes less than 2 minutes to do something, just do it! It's amazing how many little tasks take under two minutes to do and if you just DO them you can get so much off your plate. 



When tackling any organizing project always have 3 boxes at the ready. One for the things to keep, one for the things to donate, and one for trash.



Have no more than 4 items on your daily to-do list. Many people say no more than three, but let's be honest, there's always usually a lingering item left over from the day before. Or some people like to put a stretch task on there as something to earn brownie points for if they accomplish it. 



I like the Pomodoro technique when it comes to productivity. This is a method by which you work solidly for 25-minutes on a task and then take a 5-minute break. Work another 25-minutes and then take another 5. Or you can set the timer for however long you like, just make sure you continue to take those 5-minute breathers!



When you're organizing a physical space and aren't sure if a certain container will fit and you don't have a tape measure handy, take out a dollar bill. A dollar bill is 6-inches long and you can use it as a reference. FYI, a credit card is two inches wide. 



Fact (usually!): If you haven't worn a new clothing item in 7 days, you're most likely not going to wear it. This means that after those 7 days are up you should get on the ball to return it. Exceptions obviously would be the dress for your daughter's wedding or things like snow boots.  Also, keep in mind 7 years is typically the magic number for how long you should keep important documents for tax purposes.



I have a bit of a crush on those 8-cube organizers you see cropping up all over Pinterest. Ikea has the Kallax version, Better Homes and Gardens makes one for Walmart, and Target carries them. Search 8-cube organizer and you'll see what I mean. What couldn't you store in one of those?!



Every morning at 9 am eat a frog! Have you heard this expression before? Basically, your frog is the one item that you must complete that day or the one thing you've been putting off doing. It's often unpleasant but has to get done, hence eating a frog. And it's always best to do it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way.



If every day you spent just 10-minutes doing a little decluttering, organizing, tidying or cleaning, imagine how much progress you'd make. The saying goes: Little by little, a little becomes a lot!


Are you a numbers fan? Would a mathematical approach work for you in your organizing efforts? 



Categories: Odds and Ends


  • What a creative post! I'm a numbers person but not a creative person so this is so fun to read for me. I'm a big fan of doing 10 minutes of tidying, organizing and decluttering every day. It helps keep my home from getting too overwhelming and it's amazing how those minutes really make a differece!
    10/9/2017 8:35:37 PM Reply
    • @Hilda: Agreed! It's amazing how those small minutes can add up to big results. Thanks for chiming in, Hilda!
      10/13/2017 1:16:15 PM Reply
  • Very clever! I love the pomodoro method! That's an easy way to be really productive in a day - to continually take the 5 minute breathers.
    10/9/2017 1:01:33 PM Reply
    • @Diane Quintana: I think the Pomodoro method works for a lot of folks. It's a great way of balancing work and rest so you don't get burned out.
      10/9/2017 2:36:23 PM Reply
  • I must be an overachiever - I usually have at least 5 things on my to do list! I must confess though, that many take only a minute or two to complete, so 4 would definitely feel like cheating.
    10/9/2017 9:06:29 AM Reply
    • @Janet Barclay: As long as you know your limits when it comes to what you can accomplish in a day, however many tasks you put down is up to you. I just think that people tend to bite off more than they can chew, so it's always best to start small and build up!
      10/9/2017 2:37:44 PM Reply
  • What a fun post, Sarah. I am a numbers person too but also feel that going outside the black and white of life is essential. I'm a big fan of the one in and one out rule. I use it most of the time in my smaller home as the kids grow, and it has helped me keep my house less cluttered. Thanks for sharing this creative post.
    10/9/2017 9:05:39 AM Reply
    • @Sabrina Quairoli: The one in / one out rule is my personal mantra. I literally don't buy anything to bring into my house unless I've already identified another item that's getting the boot! I'm glad that you're with me on this one! ;)
      10/9/2017 2:39:04 PM Reply
  • Very creative! I love all of these, although I have to admit I have more than 4 items on my average daily "to do" list. That's because I break items down into small chunks, which means I end up with more:)
    10/6/2017 9:02:04 AM Reply
    • @Seana Turner: Lol! Yes, I imagine you can handle a hefty to-do list. For many of the folks I work with 3-4 items is about their max. It all comes down to knowing ourselves and our strengths. Breaking tasks down into smaller steps can be helpful too.
      10/6/2017 9:58:30 AM Reply

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