Thursday 25 October 2012

Tools of a Neat Freak Mum

It's no secret, first of all, that I'm a super organised, neat freak.

It has ever crossed my mind to set up a professional organising service to residential homes and offices and help people organise their space.

And it's this "OCD" nature of mine that actually helps me to juggle my work, family and blogging commitments.

Here's sharing some of the tricks of the trade of a typical hard-core organiser =)

Tips to Effective Organisation

1) To-Do Lists

Whiteboard on my cubicle wall

I have a very bad memory so a To-Do list is a must! It's also a must to have a whiteboard around so that you can note the most important meetings to attend or things to do for the day.

2) Planner / Google Calendar
For people like me who want the best of both worlds, I have both! *laughs*

My must-buy at the end of every year is a Calendar Book!

With my hectic work schedule and tons of meetings to attend, I need both the soft- and hard-copy records of my schedule. And when my work schedule over-ran the pages of my Mickey Calendar Book, I've learnt that I have to keep my work & personal schedules separate (while using Google Calendar to sync both so that they don't clash).

I also use a lot of colour to categorize the items in my calendar. For example, purple = special occasions, orange = medical appointments, green = mummy-time (spa, manicure, etc). So far it has been working well for me =)

3) Boxes & Shelves
And this does not only mean those you buy from IKEA or Daiso to organise your space. While that is also good, I mainly use boxes and shelves to maximise my space!

My little girl's bookshelves

I couldn't stand the "emptiness" above the shorter books so I bought a mini shelf from Daiso so that I can put books underneath.

My collection of Snow Globes displayed in my display cabinet

Similarly, I also used the same boxes that the snow globes came in to stack them up so that each one can be seen =)

4) Labels


Just like a policeman is not a policeman without a gun so an organiser is not an organiser without a label maker! And the labels don't have to be printed either. You can also make DIY labels which can look just as good =)

5) Rules of Arrangement
There are a few rules that organisers (especially extreme ones like yours truly) typically follow when arranging anything:

[A] Ascending Order

Things like books are usually arranged alphabetically, numerically or by height. Usually it's by height as it's much faster (see my girl's bookshelves above).

My own bookshelves full of our books & comics

It really irks me to see comic books (especially Manga!) arranged haphazardly or worse, missing a book in the sequence! It's a disease.. *laughs*

[B] Categories

You know how the first thing we learnt in Science is how to categorise the living things in our world? Well, that can pretty much be applied to anything you own.

For example, your clothes.

My collection of skirts & dresses alone

You may want to organise them in one of 2 ways:
i) by type (short, long, sleeveless, jackets, jeans) or,
ii) by colour (typically rainbow, i.e. pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, black, grey, white).

Of course, knowing me.. I organise by both =)

[C] Double P

And finally, the rule of all rules is the Double P, i.e. Parallel & Perpendicular. This rule differentiates the true blue Neat Freak and the Just-Neat-Enough-to-Survive guy.

My photo frames perfectly parallel & perpendicular to each other, with equal distance between them *grin*

To a true neat freak, everything must be parallel or perpendicular. Even if an item cannot be made straight, it must somehow be balanced in some way on the other side. For example, it we can't do anything about Pisa leaning to the right, we must place something on it's right that leans to the left. That way, it's balanced!

Lost? Good. That means you're normal! *laughs*

It's also because of this rule that we also generally have a crazy obsession with even numbers. Everything must come in pairs. It irks us immensely when we see people wearing lopsided ties and mismatched socks!

The hubby has long ago accepted that this is a part of me that is hard to change. He is that Just-Neat-Enough-to-Survive guy who so happened to marry the crazy neat freak! Poor thing *laughs*

Well.. Neat Freak, and proud! ^-^

P.S: Just in case you are wondering, no, I did not prearrange my stuff for this post! They look like that 98.99% of the time (unless a hurricane hits or I'm in the middle of packing), I kid you not! *grin*

*This post is part of my series on The Madeline Standard of Organisation
Read on for more of my practical and sometimes extreme tips for organising your life! =)
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