By now many of you have heard about my organizational to-do list. Basically I preplanned the projects I should be doing in advance and now I'm trying to stay on schedule. Some tasks require large scale organization endeavors, while others are merely upkeep. For November I tackled my basement.
Down in the dungeon (it's unfinished) I'm blessed with a large space and plenty of room for storage. I even turned one nook into a sports equipment airing chamber. The bad news is that this luxury of space has prevented my wife and I from making storage decisions.
"should we keep this?"….."I don't know…put it in the basement."
The good news is that I already started the process of grouping things together and putting them in Roughneck storage containers that can survive the moist conditions of a basement. As a result, I was not trudging through loose items jumbled together in no particular order. There was a little order.
That said, my half-baked system was nowhere near perfect. Often things were just thrown into storage boxes with half-hearted thought about their commonality. Furthermore, since I was thoughtlessly putting everything down there, I now had over twenty totes! Things might have been packed but I didn't know where they were and it was a real hassle moving everything around to search.
And so I opened them all up and went through everything and sorted items into four piles;
After that I further refined my keep pile into
* need once a year
* need 2-4 times a year
* need more then 4 times a year
Basically all the stuff in my basement was stuff I seldom used but there WAS a difference between Christmas decorations and extra linens.
With all this done it was easy to store everything in totes, label the full contents on the outside and stack them from 'needed less often' to 'most often'. In my case I could keep them all visible and figure out which one I needed with a glance.
1) Maintenance is a lot easier then full scale reorganization
– advice as old as the hills but very true….build maintenance into your plan
2) Make your pattern simple and obvious
– likes together
– label everything and make it visible from the outside
– stack in order of use
I'm beginning to feel the momentum from my to-do list. Projects aren't as hard and I'm feeling the payoff in saved time and eliminated frustration.