Organizing isn’t usually about “purging” or “decluttering” the big things. It’s often about maximizing the inches. Seeing the wasted space and possibilities is where the big gains come from. We live life in inches.
Life in Inches: Organizing
Working with a client recently, we found ourselves saying this in every room: It’s all about the inches! She’s pretty organized, but it’s the last 3 or 6 inches that make the difference for her.
She was battling a pile of clutter at the side of her desk, which was the space she saw walking into her office every day. It affected her ability to start her day strong and help her clients. The solution? Moving her desk about ten inches to the right, butting her desk right up to where the door opens, and eliminating that little void. No extra space there means there’s no place to drop clutter.
We tried stashing her backpack behind the door, making use of about eight inches of space that truly never gets used. She could still walk in the room comfortably, but she wanted the backpack a little closer.
We instead ended up with a rolling rack to hold her backpack. The backpack now has an assigned home, and it’s within arm’s reach of her desk.
The rolling cart adds space for her textbooks, getting them off the desk, too. Some of us think an organized desk is purrfection!
It was the same in the kitchen. Gathering the shorter cans together on one shelf and the tall bottles on another shelf freed up the inches we needed to bring the top shelf down and make the whole cabinet more useful. Inches!
Life in Inches: Photos
Inches are small but mighty. Did you know that measuring an inch is an easy way to measure about 100 modern photographs? (Vintage photographs take up more space because they are thicker and usually curled.) If you are working on organizing your photographs, just do an inch at a time. It can be motivating to know that each small handful that you sort is really about a hundred photos, and that’s not nothing!
Life in Inches: Health
I’ve been going through virtual physical therapy lately for some pain in my arm. (Who would think a writer would get arm pain, lol?) The only equipment I’m using are these resistance bands. The weights are just for show. The doc prescribed routines that are only 8-12 minutes long, but I’ve been faithfully doing them every single day or the last ten weeks, and I’m no longer in constant pain. I’m only moving my arms and wrists a few inches on each exercise, just the distance these big rubber bands stretch and contract , but I’m feeling much greater strength and more flexibility, along with less pain compared to ten weeks ago. I never would have believed mere inches would have made so much of a difference to my health.
So if you are waiting for the right time to start organizing–or making any change in your life–I’d say start with those inches. They have more power than you think.
Is there some organizing project that you have in mind? Can you start with just the first inch today? #SORTandSucceed
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So happy to hear you’re feeling better, Darla!
Having moved into a very small retirement condo, yes, every inch counts. Thanks for your tips and suggestions, I’ll start looking around with a fresh perspective.
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