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Method For: Bit Vs. Batch

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Have you ever heard of Bit vs. Batch? It’s a concept that originated in lean manufacturing and has been widely embraced and adapted across various industries including project management and software development. I love using the concept in my organizing work, it’s a helpful framework that provides context when thinking about organizing your home.

At its core, the Bit vs. Batch concept revolves around the idea of consistently tackling smaller tasks (bits) rather than waiting to handle larger, accumulated projects (batches).


A batch project is something you are likely not looking forward to, possibly even dreading. It could be a garage housing years of accumulation of things you don’t have space for, a pantry stuffed to the gills with bags, jars, cans and bottles or an office dotted with piles of files, papers and documents you may or may not need.


Conversely, a bit is a task – it doesn’t even merit the word project. It’s taking only a few seconds to put something back in its place after using it. It’s noticing that a drawer is getting full and finding something to edit. It’s small habits cultivated in service of a tidy home that gives you pleasure just to be in it.

Transitioning to a bit method first requires batching, and that means tackling the big projects that feel the most daunting. I can report that the hardest part of these kinds of projects is starting. Most of my clients experience a momentum surge once we have begun and even the beginning stages feel really good. It obviously helps to have a partner along for the ride; if your project feels too overwhelming a professional organizer can help you get over the hump and even enjoy the process (or take it completely off your hands!)

Once you have completed the big batch (decluttered, organized, created systems) you are ready to operate at a bit level. Organizing your home in bits is really just maintenance of systems you’ve put in place that complement your lifestyle. If well-designed they should be visible, attractive and easy to maintain. It is much easier to execute a small task like putting something in its place or relegating something that is no longer used to a donation bin because the effort takes only a few seconds. A few seconds here and there feels manageable. A closet door you are afraid to open doesn’t. The Bit Life is the way to go!

Batching makes sense sometimes (like waiting until a donation bin is full before heading to the Goodwill drive-through) but optimally you will save time, energy and cognitive load by keeping your home organized in bits.

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