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Even after decluttering, cleaning up and applying some innovative storage solutions, it is possible for families to feel like their spaces just are not quite working the way they would hope.
Maybe there is still a daily hunt for shoes or keys when everyone is trying to get out the door in the morning. Or getting dinner on the table every night remains a time-consuming chore. Perhaps, despite great storage tools creating plenty of space, everyday items seem to keep piling up in places where they do not belong.
When challenges like these keep your family from thriving in your space, it might be time to do some reorganizing. There are many organizational theories, but nearly all of them incorporate the same following core ideas in one form or another:
Implementing these ideas does not have to be complicated or difficult, but it can take some time, thought and experimentation to get it right.
Organizing your home in a way that is functional and that improves your quality of life starts with the idea that every item has a place. Everything you own should have somewhere it belongs and where family members know they can reliably find it. However, it is not just having designated homes for things that is important. Where those places are in relation to your home’s standard traffic patterns is equally important.
Determining the best “home” for an item is both an art and a science. To get started, ask yourself these following key questions:
Children’s toys are a great example of how these questions can help families make good decisions when organizing their spaces. Children’s small bodies mean that they often cannot reach higher shelves or hooks. Storing kids’ things in spaces beyond their reach can create both safety hazards and serious roadblocks to their ability to put things away properly. This is particularly true of things they use often because knowing they will need it again soon makes it easier to mentally justify not going to the trouble of putting it away.
By contrast, intentionally organizing your space and storage solutions so that children’s books and toys are kept somewhere easily accessible to them will have the opposite effect. Low bookshelves and toy bins that are open or easily opened and closed allow children to quickly and easily pick up their things and put them away. They also allow items to be quickly and safely retrieved later.
Do you have kitchen appliances or bakeware you never use because digging them out of the cabinet takes too much time and effort? Do you resort to tearing open bags, boxes and other packaging because you can never seem to find a pair of scissors when you need them? These are prime examples of the need to reorganize using First Order Storage principles.
Quite simply, First Order Storage means keeping the things you need right up front and close at hand so that you do not have to move anything else to pull them out or put them away. Keeping items as close as possible to where you most frequently use them, and removing anything that hinders you from accessing them, saves time and energy. It also increases the likelihood that items will be returned to where they belong when you and your family are done using them.
To organize your space using First Order Storage principles:
Most families have good habits they want to maintain or encourage and less desirable habits they would like to avoid or discourage. How you organize your house can directly influence your ability to develop and stick to positive habits. Perhaps the easiest way to organize your home so that it supports your best habits is to think like a retailer.
Retailers long ago perfected the art and science of displaying products in ways that catch the eye, make preferred items the easiest to grab and position items precisely where they are most likely to be seen by the target buyers. Families can duplicate these powerful strategies in their homes to great effect.