I awoke one morning, feeling sleepy and groggy, to this scene on my bathroom floor:
My first thought, like any parent is "Dang kids, another thing to have to pick up!" But then I told myself to stop and think like an organizer. Why did this happen?
I had to do a mini-investigation! I had to think about the stuff, the system, and the habits, to get to the bottom of this. Sure enough, this is the next scene I discovered:
The home was overloaded. One of the kids probably tried to put the stuff away only to find an overstuffed home! I felt a little bad about being annoyed at them when I first came on the scene.
I knew I had 3 minutes to either deal with this or to schedule a time to deal with this on my calendar. I thought about the fact that we have another place for hair accessories in the other bathroom and that other place was probably low on head bands. That was the case so I quickly fixed the problem, knowing that this would probably happen again soon since we have 2 homes for these items, neither able to hold the full lot.
Keep in mind, this could have gone differently. I could have decided that we have too many head bands and we would need to purge some to make the system easier to maintain. In that case, I would have scheduled a time with the kids to review the system. I would have gathered all the head bands in the house. Had them select which they still liked and which they wanted to let go of, then we would talk about our storage system and whether the current system would still work with the amount kept and if not, what the new system would look like to maximize efficiency in the morning. For us, this meeting would take 10 minutes or less (as long as everyone was well fed and not tired because an argument would undoubtedly prolong it).
By now you might be thinking, WOW, this lady is crazy for worrying so much about head bands! Well, as you can suspect, since I do this for a living, my house has systems that we use, maintain, and review, often. In a client's home, I might suggest creating a simpler system that would take less maintenance so they didn't have to spend time on organizing head bands. I would help them decide what system they wanted based on what systems have worked in the past. This system might look more like a basket with all hair accessories in it on the counter or in a drawer. The key to success here is putting some thought into it. It might feel daunting to think about head bands for 10 minutes, but consider the time it will save you each morning when you kids need this, that, and the other thing, and the bus is around the corner. The time you spend will pay for itself 10 fold!
A quick office facelift can change the way you feel when you are working. It can be inspiring and uplifting. Fight the "P" word (procrastination) with a quick decluttering and organizing session!
FREE SHREDDING Saturday, March 28th
10 am - 1 pm
Shred It truck outside of 333 West Washington Street
No need to get out of your car!
Coffee and refreshments available.
I am constantly on the look out for great apps that can capture your To Do List.
I am trying Wunderlist now. I like that you can add due dates and set up reminders for each task. I also find it helpful that you can have different lists (e.g., personal, work, groceries, etc.).
Check it out at wunderlist.com if you are looking to go electronic with tracking to do's.
Let's face it, garages can turn into the catch-all for anything and everything that doesn't belong in the house. If you have resolved to get your garage organized and to finally be able to get your car into it this winter, I have a line of products that might be just what you have been looking for.
Garages are where we put the things we need to live life outside. It is hard to find great storage solutions for items such as sporting gear, yard tools, folding chairs, and other large unruly items such as kayaks and bikes. In my quest for great ideas, I found Monkey Bars. Monkey Bars racks are a dream come true for garage storage solutions.
I tried one of the DIY kits, the Large Sports Rack. I was skeptical at first because I figured it would take an hour or more to get the rack installed but in less than 15 minutes it was up and I was doing my thing with deciding what goes where. I now have a place for balls, bats, lacrosse sticks, tennis rackets, camp chairs, and jump ropes. Our rack is at chest height so my kids can reach, and retrieve, what they need when they need it. We love it! I give it 5+ stars.
Below are some pictures of various racks Monkey Bars offers. The DIY products are easy to install, sturdy, and will get everything off the floor and organized. If you are looking for more information about any of the Monkey Bars products, there is a dealer in the Syracuse area. Visit their website at garagestoragesyracuse.com or call them at (315) 333-7536.
They say it takes 21 days to keep a new habit, but how do you remember to start?
One successful strategy is to link your new habit with an established habit.
Look at these two photos. There is a "technical" organizing error in the one on the left, can you spot it?
When you organize a space, you select solutions that work now. Some time in the future, it is likely that the solutions you selected will no longer work. The spaces in our homes are not static. They are always changing as items are added, moved, or removed. You will need to go back after a period of time to tweak/edit what you had previously organized. With good maintenance and upkeep habits, your work will be minimal (and may even be fun!).
Do you have Post-its everywhere? Are you a "back of an envelope" kind of note-taker?
If you are looking to get your paper organized, one key place to start is to record all notes and to-dos IN ONE PLACE. If you shy away from smartphone apps that promise to do this or just prefer paper, check out FocusNotes. They have various sizes to choose from but I recommend selecting a size that will fit in your purse, briefcase, or backpack easily so you can TAKE IT EVERYWHERE YOU GO.
The format of each page reminds you to date your notes and provides a "cue column" where you can later jot down action items or summarize the important information. It provides structure and flexibility to help you get your notes organized.
Plastic food containers overwhelm many of my clients' cupboards. Can you relate to the photo on the top?
It might be time to replace the mess with a nice, neat, stacking set. When you get the new set home, you may be tempted to keep the old set, "just in case." We all tend to overestimate how many containers we need. Remember, you will only be using a handful of them at any given time. If you find yourself low on containers, check the fridge for old leftovers, dump the junk, wash, and....voila!
Elizabeth Bremer, CPO®