Compartmentalize to Organize

organized pasta says it well. To compartmentalize is to separate into distinct parts, categories, or compartments. In a nutshell, that is a huge part of organizing. We separate out things, stuff, chaos, parts, pieces, and just about anything into categories and distinct piles. Sorting is the basis of organizing. Teaching kids to sort at home or at school is giving them the fundamentals of organizing. If we can’t see like items and group them, we have a big problem.

So whether you’re organizing your purse, kitchen, or junk drawer, compartmentalize the contents. To help you think like an organizer, consider how we would compartmentalize these areas in your home:

A linen closet:

  • linens (sheets and towels)
  • medicine/first aid
  • travel samples
  • paper goods (toilet paper, Kleenex, feminine products)
  • back up products (shampoo, hairspray, etc.)

Use shelves and containers to create distinct separation between items. If all else fails, imagine you’re walking down the aisles at CVS and Walgreens. Sort items as if you worked there, into different departments.

A wallet:

  • cash
  • rewards cards
  • credit cards
  • receipts for returns

Give each pocket its own division.

A garage:

  • auto section (cleaning and repair agents)
  • lawn care tools and products
  • sports equipment
  • tools
  • bikes/toy section (if you have small children)

Give each wall a section or category. Divide further by specific shelving and hooks for each category.

A junk drawer:

  • coins
  • pens
  • pads of paper/post its
  • tape/scissors

A junk drawer organizer is a great idea and usually a must-have. Remove extra wires and tools that are thrown and mixed in. Instead, keep a small toolbox on a shelf nearby in the pantry or a closet.

A toy closet or room – keep this simple:

  • board games and puzzles on shelves
  • arts and crafts in another section binned up into smaller categories (crayons, Play Doh, etc.)
  • large toys and toy sets standing alone

Get the idea?

Are there areas you’re having trouble compartmentalizing? Tell me about it in the Comments, and I’ll cover it in a future post.


Photo © Nagy-Bagoly Arpad / depositphotos


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7 Responses to Compartmentalize to Organize

  1. Carol Hardin says:

    Ohhh…my goodness that I came across such informative blog. I also love to organize. And as I have a small home so it’s very important to manage and organize each and every thing properly. And in my experience making a routine habit helps a lot. So for each item I have made proper storage space because when there is a need it becomes easy to find them. And in storing items storage boxes help me a lot as we can put them anywhere and thus utilize space. But I learned some new things from your post and have added to my to-do list. Thanks a lot for inspiring me.

  2. I usually find it hard to organize my kids’ toys. Everytime I arrange them, they always look some specific toys and I totally don’t memorize the places where I place them. I better start compartmentalizing now.

  3. Robert Goshen says:

    Any tips on organizing packing for a trip?

  4. Jordan says:

    I really like this blog. “Teaching kids to sort at home or at school is giving them the fundamentals of organizing”. This is very true. Organizing things is easy to think but in reality, it is not that simple. I really like the thought of your blog. It makes more sense. Thanks!

  5. Stacy says:

    This is a great way to think about organization. A place for everything and everything in its place. Classic advice never goes out of style 🙂

  6. Katie J. says:

    I like your wallet idea.
    I think i have been unknowingly compartmentizing (is that a word?) for quite a while now.
    I have a bank section
    a transport section
    ID section
    and a ‘sometimes’ section 🙂

  7. Only the first part of organizing is the hard part but when we continuously do it and make it a habit, it becomes easier. So I guess we better start now. And try to teach our children as early as possible so that it’ll be a part of their lives as they grow old. Btw, these are excellent tips! Thanks for sharing.

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