The VAL System of Organizing

I created the acronym VAL - as in the first three letters of the word value - to summarize three of the main principles I use in the great majority of projects: Visibility, Accessibility and Like with like. If newly organized items aren't visible or accessible, they fail the two most basic organizing standards. (Exceptions below.) If articles aren't placed like with like, the vision of having … [Read more...]

A Different Take on Donations

A friend was telling me about a decorative dish her deceased aunt had given her, which she'd never used. She'd come across it in a drawer occasionally, and thought it would be disloyal to her aunt's memory to let it go. Finally one day, she realized it would better to donate it, knowing that whomever bought it would find a use for it. She underwent a shift in her thinking which allowed her to … [Read more...]

The Tipping Point

At the beginning of a project, my client's sense of dread is almost palpable; s/he has usually been avoiding and resisting this project for some time, and there's a strong feeling in the air of, "Where does one even  begin?" (Usually we're at the "worst first" place, of course!) Once momentum picks up, the big picture begins to take shape, and order starts to replace chaos. Gradually the … [Read more...]

Navigating the mail

A tip about mail, gained from my former career in the USPS: One little-known fact about classes of mail is that, except for the one exception in bold caps below, ALL of what I term "consequence-related" mail will ALWAYS be sent first class. The other classes of mail usually include requests for donations, offers and coupons, newsletters, information about policies or accounts, etc. If any entity … [Read more...]

Every misplaced thing is just looking for a home

There's a sense of rightness I watch for when clients hit upon where something belongs. It might be my suggestion or their idea - it doesn't matter. What counts is that, from then on, they probably won't have to think about where to look for it. That's one major way I measure success in a project: Can clients find things easily and quickly? … [Read more...]