Monday, March 3, 2008

Organizing Conflict: Different People Need Different Organizing Approaches

book cover, Succeeding Against the Odds

I'm currently reading Succeeding Against the Odds by Sally L. Smith. While the following quote refers to the learning disabled, it's not just the learning disabled who have this issue.
There is an eternal and largely fruitless hassle between parents and young people with learning disabilities over the messiness of their clothing and their rooms. People who can't visualize letters and numbers often can't visualize what is in bureau drawers. They don't need lectures. They need coping strategies. Shelves work better than drawers. They need to see where to put things, where to stack things, where to put things back. Their spaces need to be set up so that there is a visible place for everything.
It always helps to realize that the person who can't keep things organized your way may simply need a different way, one that fits his or her personality and skills and limitations.

1 comment:

Cynthia Friedlob said...

You're quite right that people with learning disabilities aren't the only ones who need to see where to put things. Speaking from personal experience as an artist, and on behalf on many artist friends, those of us who visualize all the time often need to see where to put things, too.

I have had to accept the fact that when I file something, it's unlikely that I'll ever see it again because it will have disappeared from my field of vision and, thus, from my awareness! This is why it's so important for me to minimize the amount of stuff I have around. If I need to see what I have, things can get pretty cluttered-looking if I have too much. One of life's little challenges!