How to solve an organizing problem
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!
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