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You Are Here: Home - Newsletters - "Get Organized" - Article

Two Rules To Organized Living

The techniques of being organized are really no different for people with attention deficit disorder than it is for any other individual.  The SYSTEMS to staying organized might be different or more disciplined, but the METHODS to getting organized are the same.  In an effort to make this short and simple, there are two rules to apply in achieving an organized lifestyle.

That's the key to getting and staying organized. For example, there are many organizing "tools" to help provide HOMES for items.  There are disc holders or cases for music, magazine holders or baskets for magazines, clothes baskets for dirty clothes.  There are racks, hooks, shelves, stacking drawers, storage containers, crates, boxes and bins to group like-items in or on.  The choices are endless. 

The accumulation of clutter results from lack of systems and disciplines, so it's the first thing that has to be dealt with.  Gather and CATEGORIZE all items on the loose cluttering a room and then put them in designated places.

A system just means a way of doing something. It's an organized method or PROCEDURE used to carry out a task. A simple example of a system would be, if a person is always misplacing their keys, they can establish a routine of placing their keys in a designated place whenever they enter the room.  That spot may even have a special container for the keys. 

One man with attention deficit disorder said he had to have things placed in a certain spot and then practice a ROUTINE of going to those places to get something.  For instance, he had his fax machine placed on a counter spot where he would see it as he walked in the room and could grab faxes off the machine that came in.  He got into the HABIT of checking every time he entered the room and this seemed to work out fine for him.  The only problem was that he didn't have a CARRY-THROUGH system after that to process the faxes, so they ended up as clutter on his desktop, on table tops, and anywhere else that seemed convenient at the time. After setting up a tray basket for incoming mail, a vertical file holder for action files, and some other tools to help him manage his paper flow, his problem was handled.  We then established systems to manage his time to deal with his administrative tasks. Case cured. 

Another woman with attention deficit disorder had papers all over the place because she was afraid to put them AWAY in fear of never finding them again.  In implementing a filing system that would work for her, we got all the papers in files, and her problem was solved.  We also worked on having a place for her to drop her expense receipts when she came home.  Forget events and appointments? Use a PLANNER and set up an information center with a calendar and a cork board or dry erase board.  Establish a system or routine of checking it daily. Whatever the organizing issues or problems are, a system can be created to deal with it.

Use the two rules as guidelines and you'll soon discover it isn't difficult to achieve the type of organized lifestyle you want.  Just make sure that:
  • everything has a place and everything is in its place, and that

  • you have methods in which to keep it that way, as well as methods of doing what you do
It's really as simple as that.


Cyndi Seidler has achieved global recognition as a Professional Organizer -- and her products are available directly through Cyndi has created and implemented organizing systems for both homes and businesses. For more than 25 years, she has pioneered new approaches to work flow, file management, andpaper and information management. You may visit her website at

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