Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lost Keys

I can't believe it. I lost a set of keys!

They were a spare set, but still. I pride myself on having a good system in the foyer so that this doesn't happen. It's not appropriate to blame my two-year-old for moving them, is it? Since I went and had a new set made this morning, I'm sure they will turn up later this week!

One of the first things we bought for this house was an entryway set with a matching table, mirror and lamp. This was in part because we have a pretty large foyer compared to the rest of our house. Plus, it was important to me that there was a place to set things when coming home, or set things that needed to go out (library books, mail, etc.). It's easier for me to remember what needs to go out the door if it's nearby.

After we set up that nice entry table, I also found a bowl to put keys in. That bowl of keys has become sort of a toy these days (whose toddler doesn't love to repeatedly lock and unlock the car with a remote?) but for five and a half years, that was an easy way to keep track of keys. The idea would also work nicely for hubby's wallet and cell phone, but it's never really caught on. :)

Well, here's hoping I find those keys!

Update: these keys were found lurking in the diaper bag, of all places. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boggling Principle

What can you learn about organizing from a family game? More than you might think!

I just returned from several relaxing days at a mountain cabin with my husband's family. It was wonderful! After the kids were in bed, we chose to play a few rounds of the game Boggle. I enjoy word games because I read so much, but I also devised a system for winning. See, the Boggle letters are arranged in a four by four square. I mentally divided the letters into two by two quadrants and started looking for word patterns in each quadrant. This really seemed to work and keep my mind focused when all the letters were facing different directions and it seemed easy to get distracted.

So, how to apply this to real life?

Start with a logical system to keep you from getting distracted. I've found this really helps me in the kitchen, where I can clean or straighten from left to right. My dishwasher is one of the right-most things in the kitchen, so I can keep funneling dirty dishes to the dishwasher or food to the fridge. Obviously, you can work right to left or in another patten if your kitchen is different, but I bet you'll find it's easier if you work with the same system every time.

Tonight, hubby and I washed our cars. This is a perfect example of how a grid or sectioning system works in your favor. Start with the roof, then windows on each side, then doors, moving from left to right and top to bottom. This ensures you get every nook and cranny without having to do spot cleaning later.

I envision the same principle to tackle papers on my desk, reviewing items from left to right and prioritizing projects.

How can you see this applying to your life? I'd love to hear your suggestions!