New Life Stage, Different Organizational Needs
January 30, 2017
February 14, 2017

Organizing the Land of Peanut Butter and Glitter

Family Command Centre

Organize to Optimize stepped in to help transform a kitchen and children’s work area. In this 1100 sq ft condo, the kitchen was a good size, but getting on the cozy-side for an active family of four. Things were piling up. With the goal to reduce stress, we took a step back to look at the big picture of everyone’s needs. 

Assessing the situation revealed 4 constraints:

  1. There was more stuff than storage space. The pantry was sharing half its space with cleaning products and hardware supplies. 
  2. Items had no home. The girls’ play and study area off the kitchen had no system for where things should go;  household papers were in piles without a clear system.
  3. There was the feeling of being scattered in a million directions; much frustration looking for lost items. Goals and priorities were not clear because there wasn’t a system for monitoring numerous projects, activities, and tasks.
  4. There was sentimental attachment to old photos and artwork; older items should be archived to make room for new.

Deciding what to let go of:

We wanted a space that not only felt organized, but looked organized. We began with the children’s work area. Purging was the first step. We got rid of many bottles of dried up glitter glue, magic markers, and other craft paraphernalia. We also reduced the amount of framed photographs that were on display by half and a plan for archival. We discussed methods for taming children’s keepsakes. Check out the O2O blog post, Organizing School Memorabilia for four tips to create a life time of memories. 

Grouping and containing similar items:

Soon we had a whole cabinet free! We moved the cleaning products from the pantry into the cabinet. Then the free space in the pantry became a new home for the least used appliances in the kitchen. After purging and shifting items into new sensible locations, we labeled the zones so all family members could quickly grasp the new system. We determined we wanted mostly clear holding containers for the cupboards, so common items had a home, the cupboards where aesthetically pleasing, and items could be found quickly.

Creating a household information hub:

We also created a family information centre. Like many moms, my client juggles many balls between work and school commitments. She relies on visual queues, so we created a colour-coded filing system that will allow her a place to oversee her: a) weekly action list, b) projects, and c) reference papers. Each of the girls also got their own command centre to store their school papers and paraphernalia. They are learning how to contain their papers and categorize them into sub categories.

Forming new habits:

With my client’s new Command Centre she has begun a paper-based planning and tracking system. She will slowly learn ways she can transfer information into a digital format, but for now we wanted her to start with a simple system for controlling and monitoring day-to-day household responsibilities. The family is on track to putting things back at the end of each day because they know where things go.

My client felt like a weight had lifted off her shoulders. We were almost able to do this entire transformation with the Organize to Optimize 15 hour Seeking Sanity Package.

This kitchen and craft transformation took approximately 17 hours. The add on cost for new containers, a spice centre, and office supplies was $200.

Our organizing services:

Organize to Optimize provides hands-on decluttering, downsizing, and organizing services in Parksville, Nanaimo, Qualicum and surrounding areas. From decluttering your home or office, to organizing your digital life, we can help you reduce chaos and stress and more time and space to enjoy life. Call Melody to explore what package would be the best fit for you.

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