Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Containers: Cutting to the Chase

Overwhelmed by the myriad containers available to organize your space? There are so many choices, both functional and beautiful, that it's easy to get lost in the aisles, trying to narrow the choices. Add responsible shopping (matching your styles and your budget) to the list, and it can be tempting to run screaming from the store, empty-handed.

This chart summarizes what we've been talking about for two weeks: the preferred container qualities for each personal and organizational style. As you look over the chart, think about whether or not the recommendations match your personal preferences. Where can you find crossover

As an I need to see it/drop and run person, I can use containers that are clear, color-coded, labeled and/or unusual/unique because these container attributes match both of my styles. My container preference, however, will change depending on what I'm storing and where I'm storing it. In addition, two people who identify themselves as the same style will have different personal preferences. Clear drawers may be a perfect match for one I need to see it person, for example, but be a disaster for another because she can’t see what’s at the back of the drawer.  

What if you've identified yourself as one style, but you're drawn to containers listed in another category? As long as they aren’t containers, furnishings or systems that have proven unsuccessful in the past, give them a shot! There’s no harm in trying different things to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. 
Remember that organizing by STYLE is all about making your system your own so that it will work for you not just temporarily, but in the long run as well. With that in mind, print the chart out and amend it as necessary to reflect your personal choices. Fill in the blank spaces, and even change noes to yeses -- if those answers will really work for you. I promised you at the very beginning of this journey that there was no one-size-fits-all solution. The more you personalize the chart, the more you'll refine what truly works for you. 
Once the chart reflects your personal preferences, tuck it into your wallet, your purse, your glove compartment or your reusable shopping bag so you have it with you when you go to the store. 
If you’re still in the sampling stage, there are many worthwhile containers to be had at dollar stores, grocery stores and on sale at variety stores. Just keep in mind that while clearance sales and yard sales can be great for finding that perfect, one-of-a-kind container, you may end up frustrated if you find the perfect tool and want to acquire more like it.

All of variations on plastic drawers in this week's post 
are from office
If you know just what you're looking for, more power to you! Feel free to buy those perfect containers in multiples if you know they're going to work for you (particularly if you already have some just like them that have been organization-tested). Just keep the receipt in case you over-buy or underestimate in terms of size or usefulness. (Not that I would know anything about that).

Next week's post will close our discussion of containers, as we focus on marrying the materials to the mission.

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