For the past few months, I’ve been on an organization kick. I’m making my way from room to room throughout my house and analyzing the use or necessity of every stinking thing. Throughout the process, I’m following two rules in a take-no-hostages, vigilante fashion – the first of which is that any item not having been used for more than two years is automatically sentenced to death by trash or Salvation Army bin. The second rule: if it’s to be spared, it must have an assigned location and be efficiently organized. Oh, there is a third rule: don’t buy any bins or containers that are cruelly sold as organizers: they’re a waste of money and no more helpful than a shoe box. Unless they’re really pretty. And on sale. Or maybe just pretty…
Anyhow, purging my file cabinet is on the list of things, so I tackled it last week. And in the midst of this effort I found myself pondering the benefits of alphabetization as a method of organization. Like most people, I don’t normally take time to consciously think about the alphabet – although I did Wiki it and discovered that the word alphabet originates from the first two letters (Alf and Bet) of the Phoenician alphabet. I already knew that the Phoenecians invented the first letter-based alphabet, but only because I’ve ridden Spaceship Earth at Epcot about a gazillion times. Which reminds me that I need to get better organized with making some vacation plans…
Sorry, minor post derail.
So there I am, combing through my files and realizing that the only sensible way to organize them is alphabetically. And given that there are a plethera of ways in which one can group and organize things, I grew curious. I had a few hours with nothing else to do (actually, that’s complete bung, since I have a four-page-long TO-DO list – which is, for the record, not alphabetically ordered), so I decided it would be fun to explore other methods of organization I employ throughout my house and whether alphabetization might be more efficient.
Here’s what’s on the list to be organized and the process I’m currently using:
- Recipes: ordered by meal
- Underwear drawer: ordered by mood
- Husband’s Tool Bench: ordered by type of job (plungers with toilet cleaner, screwdrivers with screws, electrical tape with wrapping paper…)
- Medicine chest: ordered by affliction
- Liquor cabinet: ordered by cocktail ( tequila with grand marnier, vodka with – well, everything else…)
- DVDs: ordered by genre
- Closet: ordered by size of stain (along with a corresponding garment that will cover it)
- Spice rack: ordered by height
- Books: ordered by color
- Shoes: ordered by longest known trajectory (don’t ask…)
After careful (although thankfully brief) analysis, I have discovered that not much in my house would actually benefit from being organized alphabetically – or any differently, for that matter. My current methods work fine for me; I just need to be, uh – more organized with my organization. If you get my meaning.
Except for the spice rack: I’m thinking about organizing that numerically…
Actually, the only thing I was able to alphabetically organize was the dogs. Easy peasy, as there are only two, but short lived (only 0.86 seconds). It was all over once they heard the sounds of my organizing their treats – in non-alphabetical order, by the way, as I chose instead to organize by flavor.
In retrospect, I would imagine that the hardest thing for which to determine a method of organization (if you’re so inclined to select one) is batteries: those suckers can be organized just about any way: numerically (by volts), by size, by use… even alphabetically.
My batteries? They’re neatly placed in a shoe box. Aw crap, that’s bullshit: they’re haphazardly tossed into a very pretty organizer that I bought at full retail price. And about half of them haven’t been used in over two years.
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