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 the rough equivalent of a department store isn’t satisfied – where things in the same category are together and easy to find.

Exception for visibility: If you’re a “concealer” instead of a “revealer” (credit to Nate Berkus), you may purposely want to put things behind cupboard or cabinet doors, or in other closed areas, when possible and practical. Of course they would still be visible and accessible once the doors are opened.

Exception for like with like: Available storage, and/or the size or weight of an item, may require special placement away from like things – hopefully nearby.

If these three guidelines were all you employed in an organizing system, you’d be in great shape.