In my article: Simplify to Run Smoothly: Home Organisation, we worked up to the point of creating task zones. To quickly 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 talk about how you can make your storage spaces, aka task zones, work harder for you in just 3 simple steps…
Step 1: Home Organisation, Find the Problems
Before approaching the reorganisation of any storage places, I like to think about what would streamline the daily routine. One recurring irritation in our family’s life was that it would always take far too long to prepare and leave the house to enjoy a sunny day out. Part of this was because all of our needed items were so scattered: Sunscreens in the bathroom, beach toys in my son’s bedroom on the next level, and the picnic blanket lost somewhere in the back of a cupboard to name just a few.
By the time we made it out of the door I’d sprinted up and down the stairs so many times that I was ready for a lie down, and way too overheated to enjoy the sunshine. Fine tuning this chaos was essential to my sanity and our family schedule. Distinguishing these problems meant that I could then create a solution.
Step 2: Create the Solutions
I start each task zone by choosing a storage option that’s nearest the source of the action. I really encourage you to seek an existing storage place where possible, because 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 a hallway just a little too narrow to offer any practical storage solutions. I still needed to squeeze a pushchair through it back then, and now its like a two child circus of pirouetting coats and flying shoes each day (oh how I dream of marvellous mud rooms!) Instead, I decided to store all of our needed items in a narrow kitchen cabinet that I was only using for occasional items-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
I’ve found that spacious storage furniture becomes far more useful when combined with smaller storage containers. These will prevent random bits from rolling around in your spiffy new task zone. Keeping these super useful zones in order will keep your routine in order too, trust me.
Find containers that are no bigger than you need but not so small that you have to arrange everything perfectly to fit each time you put them away. You’ll lose patience or be in a rush, then the task zone will go to pot. I try to utilise containers that are relevant to the task at hand where possible; I used two of my son’s sandcastle buckets to stash away other beach toys, some bottles of sunscreen and even his small backpack.
I was so pleased with how much time and energy this single task zone saved me, my only gripe was that I wished I’d done it sooner. What areas of your life could you improve with task zones?