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Information Organization

Introduction

Paper. It's everywhere except where you need it, when you need it. Although computers are supposed to make our lives easier, we're still in a paper-dominated world. There are faxes, phone messages, junk mail, unfinished projects and, in general, stuff that comes in the form of paper that just seems to mess up our lives.

How do we find what we need when we need it? We get organized! Now, before you go screaming into the night, you need to realize that this isn't as difficult as you might believe.

"One of the things that I think is really important is that people have mistakenly associated organized with being a neat freak -- in order to be organized you have to be a neat freak. That is a myth," explains Barbara Hemphill, a professional organizer in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"There's an old adage: a place for everything and every in its place. Having a place for everything but putting it in its place is a matter of style. My work style is very messy. I jump around from thing to thing, so my desk looks like a bomb went off. But in 15 minutes I would have everything back. The difference (with disorganized people) is, even if they would like to clean it up, they have no idea where to put it so they can find it again."

With the right skills, the right mind-set, anyone can learn how to get organized. At the completion of all of the segments of this Building Skills article, you should be able to:

  • understand the underlying representation of clutter
  • know when to make decisions
  • understand the art of wastebasketry
  • realize that being organized and being neat are two completely different things
  • realize the benefits of being organized
  • find additional resources to help you become more organized