Friday, January 13, 2012

Like with Like: All Together Now

Market in Rotorua, New Zealand
"Like with Like" is one of the "Great Laws for Achieving Organization" (see note below).  Greatly regarded in the "Organizational Community", this law is the basic foundation for becoming organized. Like inertia in physics. Like with Like is efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and calming. Markets, like one pictured here, and Big Box stores use this law to make it easy for shoppers to select what they need and maintain their inventory. If I wanted ten apples, I could easily gather ten from the apple bin or be challenged by finding and selecting apples from mixed up bins.  If the market owner was low on apples it would be easy to see the inventory level if they are in sorted into their own bin ( Can you see this as helpful in your pantry?). Very logical, right?  So why don't we all do this with all of our possessions?

For some people, the concept of categorizing complicated in the sorting process.  If we were using a microscope so we could set magnification for detail, some of us dial in the big picture as in all cleaning products. While others may see in a higher resolution, they may see things to clean wood, things to clean toilets, things to clean windows, and things to clean carpets.  For them, the whole sorting process has so many categories that they become overwhelmed. Often they just put it down wherever they are at the moment that the item comes into the house (or it might still in the bag in the garage).  Often support from someone else can help them manage the number of categories and simplify the sorting.

Photo boxes holding office supplies.
For those who have a strong need for Like with Like and order, I offer the next picture.  These boxes found above my desk hold my sorted Like with Like things and each box is labeled with its contents: printer ink, cords and cables, office supplies, etc.  I could gather these items in piles on the shelf and they would be Like with Like, but the matching boxes are more aesthetically pleasing. This is what you see in the magazine pictures that you instinctively say "That's organized!" or why companies selling closet organization display monochromatic clothing While unmatching containers are organized if the container holds sorted items, the overall effect is not the same.

Stay tuned for more of the "Great Laws of Organization" because searching games like Where's Waldo are fun, but not an efficient way to run your home.


*Please don't look for scientific evidence for the "Great Laws of Organization".  It is the product of my imagination designed to prove the point.