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Old 12-06-2008, 08:17 PM   #53
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,012

I'm late for a show, but I forgot something important.

The key to organization is a place for everything and everything in its place. The PLACE FOR EVERYTHING bit is the most important.

In a well-organized tool shop, you'll likely see a pegboard with hooks and marker outlines of every tool. They'll have outlines of each hammer, drill, pliers, and so on. Hex drivers will be kept in a specific drawer, screwdriver bits are kept in a little canvas zipper-bag, nails and screws are organized by size in rookie kits or drawer boxes, and so on. Everyone knows where to find anything.

Your Mom's kitchen is probably similar. Plates in one cabinet, spices in another, pots and pans in another, tableware in this drawer, cooking spoons and spatulas in another, sharp knives in this place, canned goods in that, and so on.

The point with both of these is that it is obvious when a thing is in the wrong place. A wineglass does not go in the spice cabinet. Plates do not go in the knife drawer. Drill bits do not get hung in the hammer outline of the pegboard.

Your studio should be the same way. When you set out to organize it, and you don't know where to put a thing, stop. Your task is to decide where this thing goes, where it will always go, and where everything like it goes. "Everything goes in a drawer" is not an acceptable answer. You might have to buy or select a thing to put it in. But it is important to make a decision.

Knowing where to find a thing and knowing where to put it are the exact same question. If you don't know the answer to either one, then you have to get organized. Every adapter in your studio should be in the same place. Every wall-wart should be in the same place. Every battery should be in the same place. All kinds of tape should be in the same place. Spare drum keys should be in a specific place, as should guitar strings. All software should be stored in the same place, along with the passwords and serial numbers. Cables should be coiled and hung on hooks, according to type and length, so that you always know where to put it when you're done, and so that you always know where to get it when you need it. If I come to your studio and gift you a new piece of gear or ask to borrow a piece of gear, you should know exactly where it goes or comes from, without having to think about it, and before you decide whether to accept.

If you have a thing and really can't decide where it goes, put it in a box and mark a date on it one year from today. Put it aside. If a year goes by and you haven't opened the box, deal with it as trash, above.

The point is to keep the stuff you need ready and accessible. and this means getting rid of the stuff that's all tangled up with it. Your time in the studio should be spent on making music recordings, not on sorting through junk piles or looking for a working cable.
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