Systems and Routines Support Success: Maintain Order in Your Space

This weekend I met a lady on the tarmack in Miami.  The calm peaceful smile on her face got me curious about her travel experience that day as mine had been quite interesting.  We struck up a conversation and it turns out she was heading home from 2 weeks in London celebrating a birthday with friends.  The trip had been adventurous yet she smiled because she was on her way home and just loved her new life.  She’d recently sold her 20+ year business in real estate and vacation property management.  Starting with just a fixer her husband bought as a gift, she took some construction courses and renovated into a bed and breakfast.  She later added more vacation rentals and a property management group that expanded the venture into an 80 property business! 

I was amazed she with a small team of 5 could keep up with all of these properties. She said that keeping a handle on time was the most important thing she tried to instill in her crew.  I asked what most played a role in her successful use of time while maintaining the properties.
The answer: Systems and routines.  When she’d been a housekeeper and later a nurse having a routine and sticking to it helped maintain the rooms quickly.  She worked top to bottom left to right in a sequence of steps that got everything done efficiently.
Of course this got me geeked as an organizer because so often I hear folks say I don’t know how or have the time to keep it up.  We all get the same amount of time in our day.  We can stretch the list of what gets done in the time available by implementing systems and routines, especially for rooms we often use and tasks we regularly perform.

Next time you go into a space that needs extra attention to stay organized follow these steps:

1. Be mindful about how you are using the space and the homes for items there. 
2. When you are done using the space write out a list of steps for how you put it back in order.
3. Try to repeat these steps a few times after you use the room. 
– IF it helps you to get the room consistently neater faster than you would in the past, congrats you have a new maintenance system. Continue using it.
– IF it doesn’t go so well fell free to make a few tweaks and try again.  Remember this has to work for you in your space and you are allowed to make changes to get it right.
4. Now choose how often you will go in to maintain your space.  Will it be right after you use it or on a scheduled basis?  Either way will work.

You can keep your space organized and appealing by investing the time to plan your maintenance routine and completing it regularly.

Happy Organizing!
tt