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An appendix of all structured observations completed by our group.

Structured Observation 1Edit

Description of organized system: She's a teacher and is most proud of how her desk at school is organized.

Location of item: In her classroom at school. In the front of the classroom, off to the side near the corner.

  • Organized the way it is to make it easy to find what she needs when she needs it
  • She finds having an order to things important
  • The desk has different compartments
  • 3 drawers on each side, 1 shallow drawer in the center
  • Uses the shallow center drawer most often (every time she sits down she automatically opens it up before starting her work, and when she's done working at her desk always returns stuff to inside the drawer before getting up). Items she uses frequently (such as pens, pencils, markers, clips are in there).
  • The drawer she uses next most often is the top right drawer (spare tape, staples, etc.), then the middle right drawer (stopwatch, extra magnets, etc.), and least often she uses the bottom right drawer (couldn't recall what's in there).
  • She uses the the 3 right drawers approximately 1 time per day
  • Materials (pens/pencils/etc.) for her students to use are kept on her desk. Her good pens only for her use are kept in the middle drawer. The normal pens and nice pens do not get interchanged.
  • Other items on her desk: file holders w/ folders, big mug full of pens/pencils, family pictures, folder holder/organizer.
  • These items surround a big desk calendar (located in the center of the top of the desk). Meetings and other important dates are written on the calendar.
  • She keeps the system organized pretty much the same yr after yr.
  • She "cleans it out" once a year, right before school begins in August... otherwise no major changes during the year.
  • There are 2 "compartment trays" in the center drawer (that she uses every sitting) - she compared these trays to silverware trays in a silverware drawer... to keep things separate and make them easy to find.
  • Small plastic containers are used to store spare pens/erasers in side drawers

When you think of observation, what comes to mind:

  • Being neat
  • Having an order to things
  • Things being in their proper place (specific places for specific items)

Structured Observation 2Edit

Description of item/ organized system: Area of her kitchen, consisting of: an area of the kitchen counter (with a cutting board there), the cabinet above thecounter (opens with a door, has 3 shelves inside), and the drawer below the counter (has compartmenrs for silverware and also for sandiwch and paper lunch bags).

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space: In the kitchen, next to the kitchen sink (on one side), the refrigerator is on the other side.

Why subject says they organized the item or concept: 4 kids needed lunch for school 5 days a week, and she did not have a lot of time before going to work. By having everything near each other, it allowed her to make lunches for her kids quickly and efficiently every morning (or night if she decided to, and then store them in the fridge overnight).

  • The drawer has compartments for different silverware... generally when making lunches she would use a knife to make sandwiches. She also has a box of brown paper lunch bags and a box of plastic sandwich baggies in this drawer, which she used to pack the lunches. There is a cutting board on the counter, allowing her to make the sandwiches right there. In the cabinet above the counter, there are 3 shelves. On the bottom shelf are items such as peanut butter and jelly - the items she would use most often for making sandwiches. She said other than the bread, it was rare for her to need anything for her kids' sandwiches that wasn't in this cabinet or in the fridge (lunchmeat, for example).

Ask the subject how often they use the space they have interacted with: She used it 5 days a week to make lunches for her children.

Frequency of interaction with the chosen item: Each morning during the week.

When you think of organization, what comes to mind? Convenience & time saving are by far the 2 most important aspects


How does scheduling relate to organization in your chosen example? How does efficiency relate to organization in your chosen example? This system of organization is all about saving time when making her kids' lunches. She had to go to work and had a limited amt. of time to make the lunches, so she put everything nearby and was able to make the sandwiches right where she grabbed the materials out of the cabinet/drawer/fridge.

How does aesthetics relate to organization in your chosen example? She said she never really thought about aesthetics of this area... but by always putting things back where she got them and keeping everything in order, it looked nice and she did not have to specifically worry about making it look aesthetically-pleasing.

Structured Observation 3Edit

Description of item/ organized system:

  • Kitchen silverware/tool drawers
  • 4 drawers, stacked one on top of each other

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space: In the kitchen; the center of the main floor of the house. Under the counter that is a shared bar between the kitchen and the dining room. The silverware drawers are on the kitchen side.

Why subject says they organized the item or concept:

  • The four drawers are organized by frequency of usage and the top drawer is organized to help remind her when to start the dishwasher to ensure that there will be silverware for dinners.
  • The top drawer is only forks, spoons and knives. They are in the top drawer because they are used many times each day (at every meal).
  • The second drawer has sharp knives, specialized silverware (desert forks, chop sticks, and grapefruit spoons). They are in the second drawer because they are often used, but not in every meal. Generally these items are used on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
  • The third drawer (from the top) is a seasonal drawer. It holds items for grilling (tongs, skewers). These items are not used often, and are in a position that reflects non-usage.
  • The fourth drawer is a drawer that is completely for often unused things. In my observation the drawer had a waffle iron, seasonal oven mitts, and drink stirrers. When I inquired about the contents of the drawer, I was told that there was no order or organization to the drawer. Instead, I was told that this drawer was the “spillover” drawer that enabled the organization of all the other drawers.

How they interact with the chosen item or concept: I was told that she interacts with each drawer based on need, grabbing things out of each drawer as they are needed for other tasks such as setting the table.

Your actual observations of interaction: I asked the subject to grab everything needed to set the table for a dinner consisting of a salad, Chinese dinner, and ice cream. The subject opened the top drawer and took out spoons and forks, then closed it and opened the second drawer and took out chop sticks, and then closed it.

Frequency of interaction with the chosen item: The subject interacts with the drawers daily at the least, often many (2-3) times per day.

When you think of organization, what comes to mind?

  • Being neat and orderly
  • Finding things when needed, quickly
  • Being able to tell other people where to find things

How does scheduling relate to organization in your chosen example? Scheduling relates to organization because organization can help you remember when to do things.

How does efficiency relate to organization in your chosen example? Organizing helps to save time by making things easy to access or remember.

How does aesthetics relate to organization in your chosen example? Something that you spend time organizing must look nice so that others can understand the system that

Structured Observation 4Edit

Description of item/ organized system: Linen closet, filled with linens and personal care products

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space:

  • On the main level of the house, towards the back of the house across from two bedrooms and adjacent to the bathroom.
  • Closet has four independent doors.
  • 6 shelves, each one foot high and 3 feet long.
  • Top shelf: medicines, prescriptions, soaps, lotions, shampoos
  • Top shelf to be kid-proof, additionally there is a line of sight to see when more are needed
  • Second shelf: 4 plastic tubs labeled: flash lights, tooth care, candles, misc. Box of batteries and additional candles.
  • Organized if the electricity went out, tooth care placed for visibility for replacements
  • Third shelf: Dixie cups, Kleenex, Qtips, cotton balls, calculators, thermometer
  • In plain view, and hair accessories and calculators are accessible to herself and daughter
  • Fourth shelf: kids markers, color crayons, paper to draw on, note cards, greeting cards, ribbon for gifts, crayons
  • Accessible to kids who come over
  • Fifth shelf: Additional paper, rugs, sheets and pillow cases
  • Not use quite as often, have to bend down
  • Sixth shelf: Extra towels, sheets, table cloths, blankets, small pillow
  • Not have to use as often, have to bend down, child proof

How they interact with it: Interacts with closet daily, sometimes more than daily. Inspects closet before going to store. Upper levels are interacted with more frequency

Your observations of interaction:

  • Opens left and right upper doors, removes a flashlight from the flashlight box; replaces.
  • Opens battery box, removes batteries for flashlight; replaces box.
  • Closes closet doors.

Ask the subject how often they use the space they have interacted with / Frequency of interaction: Once a year.

When you think of organization, what comes to mind?

  • Marking the outside of the container, storing in clear plastic container, labeling
  • Easy to view contents without moving a lot of things
  • Motivations for organizing: saves time, less frustration, helps maintain order “a place for everything and everything in its place”
  • Organization through scheduling, helps to ensure that when picking up things at the store organization helps to see what is needed quickly and in a uniform manner (same way every time) makes sure that checking what supplies are naturally scheduled into day. Reduces the need for list making.
  • Aesthetics appeal helps subject feel at ease by reducing frustration

How does scheduling relate to organization in your chosen example? Scheduling helps in organizing because the big idea behind organizing is to help remember when do do things or to see when you need more of things.

How does efficiency relate to organization in your chosen example? Efficiency is part of organizing because if you organize well you can save time doing the tasks that you use the organized system with.

How does aesthetics relate to organization in your chosen example? Aesthetics relate to organization because to be organized a system has to look at least somewhat nice, otherwise other people won't keep it organized.

Structured Observation 5Edit

Description of item/ organized system:

  • Quiltin fabrics, bins and organize by colors. Patterns in front that she does, and ones she hasn’t done in the past.
  • Left over fabrics and organizes the left-overs. Different bins for each cover – plastic bins like have in closet.

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space: In the massive bedroom closet. All quilting stuff is located in walk-in closet.

Why subject says they organized the item or concept:

  • When you quilt, you need fabrics based off colors. It’s all a play off of colors.
  • New in front because if she is going to do a pattern she wants ones that she hasn’t done before. And if friends really like the quilt and want one made, she can find it easier cause it’s in the front.

Frequency of interaction: Twice a week, it’s a treat to self to work on a quilt

When you think of Organization, what comes to mind? Everything has a place that you put it. "A home base"

Structured Observation 6Edit

Description of item/ organized system: Prophy paste – On work counter and place the paste on counter.

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space: On counter in dentist office. Uses it when she is working her shift then puts back away after she is done working.

Why subject says they organized the item or concept: Looks nice, knows exactly where it’s at. Tops are different color and it looks nice when it’s in order. Has to replace right after she uses, doensn’t want any missing.

Frequency of interaction: Every time she works, depending on patient. Probably 5 a shift.

When you think of Organization, what comes to mind?

  • Less chaos
  • Not knowing the best way to organize it, so she doesn’t.

Would they be willing to change systems. She likes it the way it is and she would not be willing to change because she has put time into this and feels it is the best way for her to do things.

Is their linen closet organized? Don’t have one. Some sheets are kept in the same room closet, but they are all different patterns (she buys them like that to easily differentiate) so it’s no problem differentiating.

Structured Observation 7Edit

Description of item/ organized system: Christmas Shopping system: Has a list with each person in the family (including extended), when their birthday is, how old they are, and all of the previous presents our family has given them

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space: On the computer

Why subject says they organized the item or concept:

  • Keep the system organized and save time throughout the year by shopping constantly
  • Helped to remember what presents had given somebody previously so they were not disappointed by getting the same or similar thing
  • Made end-of-the-season Christmas shopping more efficient by knowing exactly who still needed a present
  • Saved time the following year by being able to get ideas for gifts for other people
  • Saves time when wrapping Christmas presents

How they interact with the chosen item or concept: Every time my Mom purchases a gift for somebody she adds it to the list. She does this throughout the year; beginning the day after Christmas.

Your actual observations of interaction: I have watched my Mom Christmas shop for many years. She consistently brings the list out, every single time she purchases a present for somebody, every birthday, and of course every Christmas. During Christmas season the list stays permanently out, in order to help remind her who she still has to shop for. It is posted on the fridge, and she checks it frequently when wrapping presents.

Frequency of interaction with the chosen item: She interacts with the list several times a month until November, when she starts looking at the list at least daily.

When you think of organization, what comes to mind?

  • Finding things when you need them
  • Knowing what to do when and being able to plan ahead
  • Being able to save time as much as possible

How does scheduling relate to organization in your chosen example? Scheduling relates to organization for me because it helps me plan out when I need to do certain things.

How does efficiency relate to organization in your chosen example? Efficiency is why I have the organized shopping list in place.

'How does aesthetics 'relate to organization in your chosen example? The list looks nice in the form that it is in a table on the computer, rather than just scrawled on many different pieces of paper.

Structured Observation 8Edit

Description of item/ organized system: Car Maintenance schedule

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space:

  • On the computer- has one row for each car that she owns (two total)
  • The columns include things such as oil changes, regular check-ups, etc.

Why subject says they organized the item or concept: She organized it because this way she will never miss any regularly scheduled maintainence. It helps the cars to run better and her piece of mind to know that she has the schedule set.

How they interact with it: She checks the schedule about once a month so that she knows when she has to have work done soon.

Frequency of interaction: Once a month

When you think of organization, what comes to mind?

  • Being prepared
  • Saving time
  • Having things look nicely

How does scheduling relate to organization in your chosen example? Scheduling helps because she knows when to do things and exactly what things to do. This keeps her organized.

How does efficiency relate to organization in your chosen example? Efficiency relates because she does not have to spend time checking receipts to know when work was last done. The process of looking at a spreadsheet is much quicker.

How does aesthetics relate to organization in your chosen example? Aesthetics relate to organization because the chart looks nice and is neat, compared to having stickers on the car window to remind you of these things.

Structured Observation 9Edit

Description of item/ organized system: Kitchen Pantry: organized with the kid's favorite food on lower shelves, the items that she uses the most up higher, and items that she doesn't want the kids to get into at the highest shelves

Location of item/system (if tangible) within house or other space: Located in the panty, adjacent to the kitchen

Why subject says they organized the item or concept: She organized it because it makes the most sense this way. She doesn't have to help the kids get food every time they are hungry. There are also certain things the kids shouldn't get into such as alcohol or other cooking supplies that she wants to be out of their reach.

How they interact with it: She goes into the pantry every time she is cooking or getting a snack, putting away stuff after grocery shopping, or checking for the shopping list.

Frequency of interaction: Several times daily

When you think of organization, what comes to mind? Having things be easy to use

How does efficiency relate to organization in your chosen example? Efficiency relates because everything is easy for Becky to reach and use. She doesn't have to help the kids every time she wants a snack, and things are organized so that they are easy to get to when cooking and preparing meals for the family.

Would you change if you could install a new pantry system (ie one with locks for lower drawers) ? No, this is the easiest system for her. Because the kids are shorter, its easy for them to reach their food right now. She doesn't want to have to bend down every time she needs cooking supplies, so it is nice to have them right in her reach.