In this four-week series, we will look at how to make the most of each day by making the most effective use of the one commodity we all share – time.
In 2005, The Independent conducted a study on how people spend their time. Ten minutes were spent each day hunting for keys, five minutes looking for the TV remotes. Seven minutes rummaging around for socks and shoes. About four minutes was spent for glasses and other accessories. Of course, there is also time spent every day looking for electronic and paper files, lost email messages, not to mention kid’s toys and other items. Roughly 30 minutes a day is spent looking for things. Could you use 30 minutes a day? I’m sure you could!
In my book, Get It Together Girl: A 28-Day Guide to Practical NOT Perfect Home Organization, I spend one day talking about finding homes for the homeless. It’s always a good idea to volunteer or donate to a charity and homelessness is a great cause but that isn’t what I’m talking about. Everything that people spend time looking for should have a designated place.
This isn’t rocket science. All of these items should have a place that is easy to use and that makes sense.
Keys: The way my house is designed the front door and garage door are side by side. I found a small table with one drawer that fits between the two. My keys and the dog’s leash go into that drawer. That’s all. It works because it’s by the door and it’s convenient to put my keys in it when I walk in or get the leash out when we’re ready to take a walk.
TV Remotes: These go at the end of my coffee table on the side where I usually sit. When I sit down, I can reach them easily. No matter what happens during the evening, the remotes are there when I turn off the TV.
Clothes and Glasses: Every night, I take a few minutes to lay out my clothes for the next day. My glasses go on the end of my dresser.
At work, I have a folder for items that need to be filed and I use a variety of folders for electronic documents and emails.
Most mornings for me are pretty stress free. Time spent looking for items is time wasted and time spent stressed out. Granted, since it’s just me it’s easy to do this. But, I’ve tested this with friends who have children from toddlers to teens and it works. In fact, getting your kids to find places for their homeless items is a great habit for everyone in the family to develop!