The Kindergarten Model of Organizing

Posted by Julie Morgenstern on Sep 7th 2016

Organizing is not just about getting rid of clutter and making the space look “neat”. It’s about designing spaces that reflect who you are and what’s important to you, and arranging things logically and efficiently so that staying organized will be easy for you.

From the day I started my business, I have designed every home, office, and schedule on the model of a kindergarten classroom.

Walk into any kindergarten classroom in the world, and you will behold the perfect model of organization. Think about what makes it work:

The room is divided into activity zones. Reading zone, Dress-up zone, Arts & Crafts zone, Music zone, Snack zone.

It’s easy to focus on one activity at a time. With each zone well defined and fully self-contained, you can concentrate 100 percent on a given task; nothing else competes for your attention. The Bisley Tambour Cabinet allows you to create a single function work zone by combining binders, files and a work surface in one space.

Items are stored at their point of use, with everything needed for each activity at your fingertips. For example, when doing arts and crafts, all the paper, crayons, markers, paints, brushes, and smocks needed for a creative session are gathered in one convenient location. Stacking Binder Carousels are a great way to bring all the information you need within arm’s reach.

It’s almost as much fun putting things away as it is playing with them. That’s because every item has a clear, well-labeled home in a container that is the perfect size to hold it. Sliding trays for puzzles. Wooden blocks with holes for scissors (nose down, handles up. Consequently, you seldom see a kindergartner trying to figure out where to return something or struggling to shove fifty paintbrushes into a twenty-five-brush container. Cleanup is fast and easy. Our Organizing Systems are a perfect example of the visual appeal of fun containers.

It offers a visual menu of everything that is important to the people who inhabit that space. Anyone can walk into that classroom, look around, and decide what to do and where to do it based on a set of clearly defined cues. It’s hard to NOT put things away on perfectly labeled shelves.

The beauty of the kindergarten model is that it can be applied to anything: from a whole office to just one desk or a single drawer. If you are an office manager in charge of creating an order for a whole department, or an individual trying to tame the chaos in your office, following the Kindergarten model will allow you to design your space for easy access and retrieval of any item.

Written by Julie Morgenstern

For over 25 years, New York Times bestselling author and organizational consultant Julie Morgenstern has transformed the way individuals and companies function around the globe, including American Express, Microsoft, FedEx, and the NYC Mayor’s Office.

Her cutting edge advice has been featured on programs from The Oprah Winfrey Show to Good Morning America and NPR, and she is regularly featured in a variety of print magazines and publications, including Forbes, Harvard Business review, and The Wall Street Journal.

In today’s fast-paced culture, professional success often seems synonymous with long days, never-ending to-do lists, and sleepless nights. But it doesn’t have to be that way.