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

Like, Love or Something Else?

hearthomeRemember when you first moved into your house?  It was new and fresh and everyday you wanted to rush home and fall into the loving embrace of “your space”.  As time went on life happened and with it came lots of stuff and distractions. The space you enjoyed keeping guest ready became another constant figure on the list of to-dos. Refreshing the relationship with your space doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Get past that love- hate feeling now by building in some simple routines.

 It can be simple.

Soooo building a routine may sound like a big deal but really it’s not.  It just requires for you to take some reasonable action on a regular frequency. Here are a few ways to help you take action.

Break it down – divide the space into zones to keep focus on a manageable set of steps versus facing the whole room at once. This can be the natural function zones of a multiuse room or just single task throughout the room.

 Check it off working from a checklist can give you consistency and efficiency.  instead of trying to remember to remember you can just do what’s on the list.  One thing I love about checklists is they give you a little positive boost as you check off each item and ultimately finish everything.

 Time it-if you are freaky busy you can benefit from short intervals of activity. These shorter bursts help you fit in decluttering on any given day.  Decide how long you want to work then use the clock to get time on your side.

 T, I’m so busy…can we talk more about the frequency? 

Yes let’s!  The organizing process is a balance of use and reordering. Your approach to maintenance needs to consider how soon after you use a space you will put it back in good order.  Decide which works best for you by choosing now or later.

The NOW approach is like a restaurant. You come in use the space for a while and declutter a little as you go from one activity to another. Then when you are ready to leave the space everything is cleared. The room is left very presentable and available for the next use.

The LATER approach is like a building maintenance service.  Many users come through the space than at a scheduled time it is put back in order.
Both work well and can allow you to be successful in keeping your home organized and happy.

Having a home environment that feels like a sanctuary from the craziness of the outside world is essential to a sense of balance.  You can achieve the space you need by spending some quality time with each room in regular maintenance routines.  Keep it simple and do it regularly to feel less like a chore and more like an act of love.

Happy Organizing!

tt