Sometimes having to become a responsible adult quickly at what I think was an early age (18) turned out quite okay and made me into the organized person I love being. By the time I was 25, I was married and had 3 children. At 29 years old I started my career outside of the home. After 30 years, I’m still doing what I love best: working (only part time now) multi-tasking, organizing, keeping in a routine and having a purpose in my life.
With work, 3 small children, a husband, meals, laundry, etc., I had to figure out quickly how to keep things in balance at home and at the office. Like a broken record, I found myself preaching to the family …. “please put your belongings away, or back where they came from”. This usually didn’t happen, so I knew I had to do something and I created a plan. I set 4 laundry baskets (one for each child and one for the husband) at the bottom of the lower level steps with their names on it. As I found their belongings scattered about, I simply dropped them in their perspective laundry basket. When they asked “where is my favorite jacket, shoes, pet rock, etc.”, I simply said in your laundry basket downstairs. Most of the time this kept the clutter out of my small area they invaded daily (the kitchen).
I tried this at work, but it did not go over so well. Carrying this to the workplace opens a whole new concept so I researched how I could incorporate having a lean office; not that they left their belongings scattered, but how could we as an organization be more efficient, save money, take the waste out of the environment, and solve problems not hide them. Most of the information came back to me as some very common sense habits I have already put into practice. Some of the words I heard over and over again in my head were efficiency, organizational skills, eliminate waste, be productive, and time IS money. Surely I remember it was not being organized if we could not locate our jackets or shoes when heading out the door to school.
To me, a lean home is where I started and I worked at keeping our lives in order so we could enjoy the fun things in life. In my career 30 years ago and yet today I am still part of finding ways to save time, money and be more productive. Technology plays a huge role now in helping me be efficient and productive. My most recent project as we moved into our new office space was tackling the job of organizing the supply cabinets. I placed labels on the shelves identifying what belongs where (i.e., paper clips, staples, tape, sticky notes, envelopes, sharpies, folders, etc.). The coolest part was a box I placed on one shelf that said “if you can’t find it, LOOK here”. In the box were miscellaneous items I didn’t even know where to put. One day my box method really worked, a co-worker found what she was looking for!
If you are trying to figure out how to keep things in balance, remember keep it simple. Organize one project at a time and don’t stop until it is completed, then that one task completed will LEAN to another, I promise.
Peggy Koski is the Secretary/Receptionist at GLCYD. If you’ve had contact with GLCYD, there’s a good chance you’ve talked to her on the phone or received an email from her.