Sort By Categories to Get and Stay Organized

Did you know that being able to sort items into discreet categories is a skill? Sorting by category has always come as naturally to me as breathing. I assumed everyone could do it. It only makes sense that pens go with pens and writing pads with writing pads and CDs with CDs. What’s difficult about that?

Now, after 12 year of working as a professional organizer, I use “ability to clump like items together” as one of the criteria for assessing organizing ability in clients. Those who are chronically disorganized usually have no clue how to sort items by category and often cannot maintain an organizing system that requires them to put things away by category. Those who are quite right brained and creative may understand the value of sorting by category, but find it too boring to do. And, those who can sort items effectively but are just too busy to keep up with the influx of items into their space, actually enjoy working side by side with me to restore order. If they make themselves maintain their space despite the busyness of their lives, they can stay on an organized track.

Where are you on the “clump like items together” organizing scale? Do you naturally group like items together or does thinking in categories make your brain itch? If clumping is a foreign language to you, you will need help to get organized, learn to stay organized and make yourself maintain organizing systems. It’s not a character defect to be missing a clumping gene, but it is a skill deficit that when addressed will result in increased productivity and peace of mind.

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