Reclaiming Order

15 minutesWhile looking for a list of skincare products that I wanted to share with a friend, I realized that it was time to reclaim order in my Fashion File.   I knew I had tucked the list into my file somewhere, but when I went to look for it, I couldn’t find it.  I quickly deduced that the main reason for this was that there was a surplus of irrelevant information in the file.  It held current and relevant information, but also held some outdated information that was no longer of interest to me.

Therefore, I allowed myself 15 minutes to reclaim order.  I did this by pruning each category of the Fashion File and making decisions on what information was worth keeping, and what was to be discarded.  Here is a list of what I discarded:  8 outdated or duplicate business cards, 1 outdated jewelry catalog, 12 magazine clippings on products, tips, and ideas (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I clip from magazines, but in my opinion, it’s better than keeping the whole magazine.), 1 outdated skincare catalog, 5 old purchase receipts (shred them), and 8 notes of websites to look at or items to try.  At the end of a very productive 15 minutes I had located the list of skincare products that I wanted to share with my friend, and reclaimed order in my Fashion File.

By taking the time, at that moment, to reclaim order, I stopped the accumulation of paper, and prevented my Fashion File from turning into a huge, inefficient mess.  This is what I call preserving the natural flow of the organizing process.  The natural flow of the organizing process looks like this:

Chart of Organizng Flow

One very important factor to keep in mind when preserving the natural flow of the organizing process is to keep the duration between creating order and reclaiming order short enough, so that the act of reclaiming order doesn’t take too long, and isn’t an overwhelming task.  If we wait too long, or allow too much build up, the act of reclaiming order becomes overwhelming, stressful and frustrating.  If you reach this point, reclaiming order may no longer be a do-it-yourself task.  Just remember, it’s okay to ask for HELP!


© August 2015  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved


Proud member of NAPO


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