Organize Your Way Out of the House

You see all sorts of wonderful organizing ideas for kid’s play rooms or nifty gadgets to help you organize the kitchen, but what about wonderful solutions to get you out of the house with your sanity, your hair, and all of the things you need? Have you ever thought about the mental checklist you do before you actually leave the house in the morning?

Keys – Check

Phone – Check

Purse – Got it

Kids – Yep

Backpacks – Sure enough

With a final holler at your little people, “Do you have your homework and lunches?” you are running out the door to start your day. Most of the time it works like magic, except when it comes to going grocery shopping and you forget your list, stopping by the dry cleaners totally vacates your brain, and you still have not remembered to grab the blender from last Christmas to take it back to the store.

Sure, having nifty organizing systems for your linen closet is loads of fun, but how about the organizing system for your errands? Not only is this just as important, this solution can actually save or give you money back! Now THAT would be a great organizational system.

Let’s go ahead and start by finding the perfect staging area. When I say staging area, I mean we need to find a location in your house that you pass by every time you go to get into the car. Do you leave your house through the garage, laundry room, front door, or side door? Whatever door you leave from should be the designated staging area or the base of operations.

What sort of things do you currently leave the house with?

  1. Keys
  2. Phone
  3. Purse
  4. Dry cleaning
  5. Grocery list
  6. Returns
  7. Mail

How much room do you currently have at your disposal to use for our base of operations? This includes wall space, floor area, shelving, etc. that we can utilize.

Keeping those three items in mind; where you leave from, what do you leave with, and how much room you have we need to figure out some simple solutions to help you get out of the house quickly with everything you need.

My family and I leave the house from the front door, but we do not have anything close to resembling an entry way. Instead we have a little hallway that either opens into the living room or the dining room. Not the most inviting entry into a home, but my husband did have this skinny tall table that he made in Shop class in high school. We re-stained the table and placed in up against the wall in front of the door. I have a cute little pail we use to put our keys in, another matching pail to place our incoming mail and yet another one for the outgoing mail. Underneath the table, I leave my purse along with any returns I need to take back. This includes things I need to drop off to my family and friends. I do keep my dry cleaning bag in my bedroom, but when it’s time to take it to the cleaners I drop it on the floor, under the table and next to my purse. I can’t forget the bag even if I wanted to, since it is right next to my purse! The best part about this system is you can use it anywhere in your home as long as you have room to put a thin table up against the wall.

However, sometimes you don’t even have that much space to spare, especially if you come in from the garage through the laundry room. One of my clients had such a problem in her laundry room. She barely had room to open the door so putting a long skinny table was definitely out of the question. Instead, we found a very tall bathroom shelving unit. The shelving unit is about 6 feet tall with little shelves and a very pretty white decorative wood. On the lower shelves, she placed her returns. On the hand height shelves, she used baskets on two of the shelves; one for incoming mail and the other for outgoing mail. She loved the idea of having a charging station for everyone’s phones, so we created one of our own. We drilled some holes in the back of the shelf, brought up an extension strip and created a cute little charging station for 3 cell phones, 2 iPods, and 2 Bluetooth ear pieces. Since we essentially ran out of shelf space, we drilled a few more holes into the side of the unit and placed some cute little hooks for keys and a heavy duty hook for her purse and umbrellas.

In both cases, we put everything we needed in one place so we didn’t have to worry about forgetting to grab the dry cleaning, yet again! There was no need to hunt around the house for our lost purse and if there was something in the bucket that said Out Going Mail whoever was leaving the house would see it! Whether they would actually TAKE it to the mailbox was another thing, but still!

So think about what you need, where the logical place to set up shop is, and how much space you require and create a little space of organizational perfection in your home!

Happy Organizing!

Suzanne Babb

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