Sunday, December 31, 2006

Put Organizational Talent To Hobby Use

Some people are naturally organized while others find themselves struggling with the concept daily. For those people who are born organized, it often is difficult to understand people who are not. People with a talent for filing papers or for keeping their homes running smoothly may find that their hands are itching when they are in the presence of others who are not so organized.

If you are one of these types of naturally organized people, then you should consider turning it into a viable hobby. Make it something that you can do for others. While there are professional organizers out there, most of them charge fairly exorbitant fees, and few people can afford them. Plus, your friends and family may find it easier to explain their personality quirks to you than to a stranger.

So if you got the organizing gene, turn this talent into a hobby so that you can help others while you are taming the chaos of life. If you are like most very organized people, you will feel calmer when you are organizing, even if it is stuff that does not belong to you, because you will feel that you are doing something to make the world better. Great, you are probably thinking, but how do I get started?

The first step is to think about how you could help others in your life. Perhaps you have noticed that your best friend is always losing her car keys although the answer seems obvious to you. She has no set place to put the keys. Perhaps you have even suggested that she get a key rack, but she has not done so yet. Then she can be your first small project. Make or buy a key rack or bowl for her.

Doing something personalized may make it seem less like you are intruding and more like you car. Try painting something with the family name on it or making a cute decorative bowl that will match the pictures in her foyer. Before you head over, know where you think the key holder should go so that she does not have an excuse not to put it somewhere immediately. Once you get there, tell her that while you love her, it drives you nuts that her keys are always lost. If she is reluctant to try your system, then ask her to promise to try it for a week. She should put her keys down consciously when she enters the house. Chances are that after a week, she will recognize a sense of calm by knowing where her keys are every moment.

Although you may be worried that others will not take well to your butting in, chances are that they will not, especially if you give them ideas or bring them gifts without seeming as if you are telling them that they are failing at an area of their lives. Most people want to be more organized, even if they claim that they do not. They recognize the problems with their lack of organization and know the toll it takes, but they do not know where to begin.

In addition to helping friends and family, you can volunteer for areas where your organizational talents will be useful. Perhaps you are in PTO and have noticed that the annual Halloween carnival is an organizational nightmare. You have ideas on how the problem could be solved, so jump in. Make it known that you would love to help out and that you would even be in charge if needed. Be prepared with ideas, such as sending out letters to parents a week earlier, having the booths set up sooner, and corralling the kids for the costume contest. Giving good, solid advice is a great way to get others to trust your organizational instincts and to be willing to let you help them out.

The benefit for you is that you get to make yourself useful. You get to tame the chaos of whatever system you choose to donate your hobby time to, and that should make you feel much better and more valuable. Just remember that you should not be pushy if others resist; the ability to organize is a rare one.

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