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  • Felice Cohen

A fish ant. See?

“You’re a fish ant?” my niece asked me. She’d overheard me on an interview answering the question, “What’s the best term you use to describe your organizing services?” and I had answered “efficient.” According to Wikipedia, efficient is “the extent to which time or effort is well used for the intended task or purpose.”

Bingo.

Whether organizing a closet, unpacking an entire home, or creating a file system, I’m thoughtful of each step as being part of the order in finishing the goal. I don’t walk out of a room without making sure to be carrying something to the garbage or moving something where it’s supposed to go. I’m efficient with my time for many reasons, the number one being why waste it? When there’s a job to do, just get it done, as there’s so much more to do in the day. Like go for a bike ride, read a book or see another client.

Years ago when I first started organizing, I used to say I sold Time. For when your life is organized – at least to the extent you can find stuff easily – then you’re saving time you’d otherwise have spent looking for things. And who can’t afford that?

But being efficient is also about being smart about space. My tiny studio – also called an efficiency since the bedroom, living room and “kitch” (a mini fridge and toaster oven do not a full kitchen make) are in the same room – is the perfect example. Everything has a place and fits comfortably. And in New York City most everyone at some point faces this battle in getting the most from their small space. But it’s not just inside apartments space is limited. #gallery-245-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-245-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-245-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-245-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

The people who sell fruit, flowers, candy and magazines on the sidewalks know firsthand how to get the most from their restricted spaces. And one fruit vendor has even taken space efficiency to the next level by arranging his produce by color. “While I need to fit everything, I also like the colors to be spread out,” he said. “It looks nicer.” And judging from the pictures, he’s right.

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