Merriam-Webster defines organization as the act or process of organizing or of being organized. I agree but tend to think that this is a rather simplistic take on what it means to organize. Therefore I have come up with a definition for organization that I believe encompasses the reason, purpose, and result of organizing: knowing what you have, where you have it, and why.
What you have – How many times have you purchased something only to realize you already had it? I use tape as a frequent example because I’ve run across a lot of tape/adhesives collectors in the last 9 years. Maybe for you its something else; paper towels, hangers, bags, something that you buy without realizing that you already have plenty. Sometimes I wish there was a soup nazi for each of us following us around while we shopped saying “No tape for you!” This would eliminate a lot of the clutter I see in homes due to overpurchasing.The solution to this is to know what you have.
Where you have it – In order to be able to know what you have you need to know where you have it and this does not mean more organizing products, but clear, defined areas for where to house everything. And if you want my take on the ubiquitious junk drawer please read No Miscellaneous.
Why you have it – A great portion of the clutter I come across is due to not knowing why you have something. Ever held up an item and said I don’t know what this is for but I don’t want to get rid of it. If you really can’t part with it and its a piece of hardware then put it in a container/ziploc bag, label it with a date for discard, and then place it in your household hardware storage. This way at least its found an appropriate temporary storage that will make it easy for you to know what you have, where you have it, and eventually why you have it.
Knowing what you have, where you have it, and why you have it will result in a more organized space which in my opinion is the true definition of organization.