In my previous article: Simplify to Run Smoothly: Home Organisation, we worked up to the point of creating task zones. To recap, a ‘task zone’ is a term I like to use for any cupboard, drawer, basket, shelf or nook that serves a specific purpose. And they all should.
With that in mind, let’s work through how to make your storage spaces, aka task zones, work for you in just 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Home Organisation, Find the Problems
Before approaching the reorganisation of any of your storage places, think about what would streamline your daily routine. One recurring irritation in our lives was that we’d always take far too long to prepare and leave our house to enjoy a sunny day out with our toddler. Part of this was because our needed items like the sunscreens were in the bathroom, the beach toys were in my son’s bedroom on another level, and the picnic blanket was in the upstairs landing cupboard to name but a few.
By the time we made it out of the door we’d ran up and down the stairs so many times that we were ready for a lie down, and too overheated to enjoy the sunshine. Fine tuning this chaos was essential to our sanity and our schedule. Distinguishing these problems meant that I could then create a solution.
Step 2: Create the Solutions
Find a storage option that is nearest the source of the action in which to create your task zone; I really encourage you to seek an existing storage place where possible, as purchasing new options can too often lead to an increased retention of clutter.
However, in the case of our sunny day packing problem I’ll admit that our scattered kit was the result of our hallway being just a little too narrow to practically offer any storage solutions right now, as we still need to squeeze a pushchair past (oh how I dream of magnificent mud rooms!) Instead, I decided to store all of our needed items in a narrow kitchen cabinet that I’d previously only used for occasional items anyway-many of these I purged and gave to charity. This way everything was already downstairs and in the room where I’d be preparing the picnic to come with us anyway.
Step 3: Streamline Storage
Good home organisation should implement containers to hold non-uniform items, and doing this will prevent such items from rolling around in your task zone. These super useful zones should be kept in order to keep your routine in order. Find containers that are no bigger than you need but not so small that you will have to perfectly arrange everything to fit each time you put them away-you’ll lose patience, or be in a rush, and the task zone will go to pot. You could try to use containers that are relevant to the task at hand when possible; I used two of my son’s sandcastle buckets in which to store other beach toys, bottles of sunscreen and his small backpack.
I’m so pleased with how much time saving this single task zone has helped me achieve already, I just wish I’d thought to do it sooner. What areas of your life could you improve with task zones?