Today’s blog post comes to us from the Academy’s Administrator, Trixie Paprika. She’s a whiz with organization, and spent some time talking about how she keeps things in order.

The world of burlesque is a busy and creative one, and it can be really easy to lose track of details amidst all the glitter. As the Administrator for the Academy of Burlesque, I need to keep a whole lot of information organized, updated and readily accessible, so today’s blog installment is all about tips for organization!

The most important take-away is to find an organizational system that works for you, and to stick with it! There’s no use in trying to fit your brain into someone else’s way of thinking if you don’t have to. That said, you do need a system. Because with a system, even when you miss something or lose something, you have a way to track it back and figure out what happened.

The way I approach creating an organizational system is by asking a series of questions. And these can work for organizing physical space (craft supplies!), information (bookings! calendar!), or files/archives. I’m going to go through the questions using the example of craft supplies, but you can apply it to anything you want.

Question 1: Do I really need all of this?

Especially with physical spaces, chances are you can weed out some clutter before you even start. When was the last time you used something? If you can’t remember, it might not need to stick around.

 

Question 2: What needs to be most readily available to you?

What do you use most often? Where do you tend to toss things when you don’t have time to put them away? Can the “toss things here” place be the official place for the tools you use most often?

Question 3: What categories can I split this into?

Maybe certain tools or types of materials always go together, like rhinestones and Gem Tac. Put them together! And think this through. Maybe you don’t want to invite temptation by having your fabric scissors live next to other scissors, even though it makes sense to put like tools together.

 

Question 4: What is the best storage method for each category?

For craft supplies some things are obvious – rhinestones need to be kept by color and/or size, you probably don’t want glue sitting upside down in a bag, etc… But it can also be helpful to think about what kind of container will encourage you to keep your organizational system intact. Maybe having smaller containers will keep you from rummaging through piles and disrupting any order you had.

Question 5: Do I really need all of this?

After you’ve categorized things and found places for them, you’ll probably end up with things that don’t fit into the system. Before you create an “everything else” drawer, ask one more time “do I really need this?”

One more piece of advice is to bring a buddy. It can be a lot more fun to sort through piles of stuff with a friend, but its also a lot easier to think about someone else’s stuff objectively. So when you’re caught up in the emotional drama of that time you ordered rhinestones for an act and they arrived 5 weeks late and in the wrong color, your friend can be calmly putting them into a container.

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