You are looking for a simple way to remember the steps to organization – here’s mine – in 5 easy steps.
I use the acronym S.O.C.K.S. Think of a giant pile of mismatched, brightly coloured socks thrown wildly around a bedroom. Now let’s begin.
S – The first S stands for Survey Space. You need to see what the problem is. Look critically at your space and answer the question “what should this space be used for?” By determining how a space should be used, you can figure out what items belong in that space and what items belong elsewhere. Using the SOCKS scenario, you know that a bedroom is for sleeping and that having socks spread out everywhere gets in the way of that purpose. You decide the problem is that you need a way to store your socks.
O – The O stands for Order. This is the step everyone is most familiar with: the sorting stage. Take all the items out of the space and ask yourself does it belong here, should I donate it, should I trash it, should I repair it? Sort all the items into piles. For our SOCKS example, you might decide that all worn out socks are trash, all blue socks no longer match your wardrobe and can be donated, and all other socks you match up and save.
C – The C stands for Contain. In order to organize your space, you need to group like things with like and often place them in some sort of container. You need to select these containers keeping a few pointers in mind (Boxes, Bins and Baskets – Oh My!) For our socks, we might consider different bins inside a closet or a drawer organizer.
K – The K stands for Keep-it-up. Organization is not a once-and-done process. Every organized area needs maintenance. You need to constantly put things back where they belong and sort them regularly. Without this step, soon our worn out socks would be taking up valuable space, our washed socks would not get matched up and put away, and we then would be as disorganized as when we started.
S - The last S is for Survey Solution. This step is a survey not of the problem but of the solution. Does the solution work? Could it be improved in some way? For example with our socks, the bins in the closet work great but the bins all have lids which end up everywhere. These lids also add an extra step that makes maintenance and use more tedious than necessary. A simple solution is to remove the lids and try that for a while. There is always room for improvement and being honest about your solutions will help you adjust them.
Remember S.O.C.K.S. and use these five steps to organization and be able to organize any space!