April 16, 2011

Helpful Organizing Tips - Put It Where You Need It

Today I had a conversation about dust busters with my hair stylist, of all people. Why? Well, we both have small children who make a mess under their high chairs and we were discussing the best way to make it go away. She told me she shlepps out a vacuum every time her kid makes a mess. I advised her to grab a 20% off coupon and hightail it to  Bed Bath and Beyond to get herself a dust buster.

The conversation made me think back to when my older son was in a highchair. For a few years before he was born, the dust buster lived in our laundry room. The few times I would need it, I would run downstairs and get it and later return it to it's base--no problem. Then my son came along and started eating solid foods. Some missed his mouth and landed on the highchair and on the floor. So I'd run up and down a flight of stairs to grab the dust buster and then return it. After a few weeks of this. I thought to myself. "There has to be a better way. What if one of your clients presented you with this problem? What would you say to her?"

I'd give her today's Helpful Organizing Tip: Put It Where You Need It

Everything you own needs a home: the remote, your toothbrush, your car keys. Creating a home for an item helps you locate it when you need it. When you know where an item lives, you can easily return it that home which in turns enable you to find it when you wish to use it next. But, any home won't do. It needs to be a LOGICAL home. A logical home for the above examples would be remote - near TV, toothbrush - in the bathroom, car keys - near the door you enter and exit through most.

Did most of my messes occur in the laundry room? No. Did it used to be a logical place for the dust buster to live? Yes. Once my son started making daily messes was it still a logical place? No. Did I now need that dust buster to live in my dining room? Yes!

So I put it where I needed it--in a cabinet in our dining room. Now I have another child in the highchair who does the same thing. Guess who can clean that mess quickly? Me. Guess who can try 'putting it where they need it' in their own home. YOU.

Take a few minutes to think about what items in your home need a more logical place to live. While you're doing that--I'll be dustbusting a family of petrified Cheerios off my carpet...

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