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Eliminate Clutter With These Helpful Acronyms

Eliminate Clutter With These Helpful Acronyms


All throughout high school and college, I used mnemonic devices to help me study for tests or learn complex subject matter. What can I say, my mind needs formulas to assist my memory! One device I love using is the acronym. When I started on my journey as a Professional Organizer one of the first books I read was Julie Morgenstern's Organizing From The Inside Out. In it she talks about the SPACE process she uses when working with clients: Sort, Purge, Assign a home, Containerize, and Equalize. Watch her explain the method on Oprah HERE. This method struck a chord with me and I have since taught it to numerous clients and given many presentations on it. 


I've come across other acronyms that can be helpful when trying to organize your space. See if one, in particular, sticks out for you:


Organize my House uses the ADORE method: Assess - Declutter - Organise - Real life - Evaluate


Humantific wrote an article about the LATCH model to organize information: Location - Alphabet - Time - Category - Hierarchy


Stephanie O'Dea's model uses the word PROM: Purge - Remove - Organize - Maintain


Pinterest has a great to do list based on GUTS: Give it away - Use it - Toss it - Sell it


Simply Squared Away uses the SPASM method: Sort - Purge - Assign homes - Set limits - Maintain


A Thoughtful Place likes to stay CALM: Clear out - Assign a spot - Label - Maintain


Organizing Junkie feels it's all about the PROCESS: Plan of attack - Remove items - Organize into piles - Containerize - Evaluate the plan - Solve remaining issues - Smile 


Pinterest had this posting about the SLAPP model: Stop - Look - Accumulate - Pick up - Put away


Details Organizing It All asks questions using the WASTE model: It is Worthwhile? / Will I need it Again? / Can I find it Somewhere else? / Will anything happen if I Toss it? / Do I need to keep it in its Entirety?


Robert Pozen who wrote a book on extreme productivity has the OHIO rule: Only - Handle - It - Once


Of course, when you're making any type of organizational goals in your life it's always important to make sure you're making SMART goals (Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Realistic - Time-bound). You can find tons of articles on SMART goals all over the internet.


Did a particular acronym stand out for you that will be easy to remember or do you have your own that you'd like to share?


Categories: Odds and Ends


  • This is funny, because I have occasionally wished for a compilation of acronyms just like this one! The ones I use (and have written about, and taught) are SPACE and SMART. But I'm happy to have this list (with links!) to peruse. Thanks, Sarah!
    5/7/2018 10:07:46 PM Reply
  • What a great collection of organizing process acronyms! I happen to like GUTS....not so much because it encompasses all the steps, but for the boldness of the acronym itself. It DOES take a certain boldness to face and manage our stuff. So the acronym feels like a call to action. The other acronym that stood out is OHIO. I have to admit that while it's great in principle, I'm not 100% sure that it works in real life for all situations. But I know that it's a favorite one that clients often ask me about.
    5/7/2018 8:23:04 PM Reply
    • @Linda Samuels: @Linda Samuels: I see what you mean about the gutsiness factor involved in managing our clutter. I wish I could find a source for the GUTS acronym as it was a just an uploaded post on Pinterest, but it's a good one. And I agree with your take on the OHIO rule. Many of my clients (hoarding population and chronically disorganized) struggle with that one too. It's not for everyone, but for some, it gets the point across.
      5/9/2018 1:59:08 PM Reply
  • In her book, Organized to Last, Porter Knight talks about the RRRIPP strategy for managing paper: refuse, recycle, refer; identify, putaway, post.
    5/7/2018 8:18:51 AM Reply
    • @Janet Barclay: I like that acronym! And it gives me a visual of literally ripping through piles of paper in the process. Knight's is a book I haven't read. I'll have to check it out. Thanks, Janet.
      5/9/2018 1:56:15 PM Reply
  • Nice collection Sarah! All of the succeeding acronyms seem to be an effort to improve upon SPACE. In my view you just can't.
    5/4/2018 8:20:11 AM Reply
    • @Matt Baier: I hear ya! Julie Morgenstern is the pioneer of this whole organizing acronym movement, but it's nice that others have found mnemonics that work for them. :)
      5/18/2018 2:39:20 PM Reply
  • I love a good acronym. My logo has a line of red squares, so mine is "R.E.D.D.S" for when you are decluttering. Items should be: R-Returned (to the space), E-taken Elsewhere in the home/space, D-Disposed of properly (trash/recycle/hazarous), D-Donated or S-Stored. Is my inner nerd showing?
    5/4/2018 8:10:34 AM Reply
    • @Seana Turner: I'm sending you a high-five for rocking your inner nerd! I never knew that about your logo - what a great way to tie in a visual cue to a memory device! Thanks for sharing. :)
      5/4/2018 9:23:40 AM Reply

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