Organization 101: The Three Tier System

For many, organizing is a process of trial and error. You place labels on things. You buy storage bins and materials. And yet, after all that hard work and effort, you still feel disorganized. If this sounds familiar, consider trying the three tier system.

What is The Three Tier System?

The three tier system is a system that many organization experts use as the foundation for any organizing task or client they have. The three tier system helps you prioritize your items and organize them in a way that supports optimal efficiency and organization.

Tier One

The first tier items are items that you use on a daily basis. In your entry way it may be everything from your keys to your shoes and coat. In your home office the daily items might be your computer, pencils and paper, and your phone charger. In your kitchen it’s your daily dishes and cookware.

These first tier items need to be handy. They need to be easily accessible. You’ll also want to create a place for these items. Creating a place for your tier one items means it’s a place that is handy for you so you can always put things where they belong – and find them when you need them.

Tier Two

The second tier items are items that you use less often. Maybe you use them weekly or even monthly. In the entry way that might be something like an umbrella. In your home office it might be something like your printer, your business plan or your bank statements. In your kitchen your popcorn popper, fryer, blender and other mid-sized appliances would likely be tier two items.

Tier two items are items that don’t need to be out and readily available. However, you also shouldn’t have to go looking for them. For example, an umbrella in your entry way could be stored in a bin for raingear or in your hall closet. In your home office you might keep your bank statements in a file cabinet right next to your desk. In your kitchen mid-sized appliances like a popcorn popper or waffle iron might be kept in a pantry or out of the way cupboard.

Tier Three

The third tier items are items that you use occasionally. We’re talking about items you pull out once, twice, three times a year. In your entry way that might be a wreath or special door decoration. In your home office it might be something like your income taxes or family will. In your kitchen it might be your fine dishes, special holiday table cloth or a cake stand.

These three tier items don’t need to be nearby at all. In fact, if you only use them a few times a year they can be stored away in closets, bins and other storage areas. The key to keeping your third tier items is to place them in logical and easy to access storage areas with proper labelling.

The third tier system sets the foundation for organizing any space. When taking a look at your own organization systems and processes, do they embrace the three tier system? Try this system out and improve your organization today.