Need More than a Roomba? You need a Policy!

Dated: January 25 2020

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As you develop your policy for organization remember this is "home".  Home is personal.

Home is where you live and you feel comfortable.  This is not a model home but it is also not a collection of stuff.

Developing your system based on your needs an priorities takes "buy in" from all!  Children, spouse, roommates or parents?  Establishing priorities begins with a plan.

Have fun making home a comfortable place and one way to build camaradarie is to begin as individuals.  Hand out 3x5 cards with assorted colors.  Let's say three colors - Blue, Pink and Yellow.

Start with Blue - WRITE DOWN YOUR PET PEEVES!  Are your pet peeves unique to you or are their similarities with others at home.  How is the peeve created?  by others or by self?   Do others understand your disturbance or is this something you need to develop individually or as a team.

Moving to the next step use the Pink Cards.  Brainstorm together as a team.  Are there easy steps to correct long term frustration.   You begin the plan by writing down the most silly to the most practical ideas and identify at least three things you might consider to solve your own problem.

Maybe you ask for help.  Asking for help can often be a gift?  No Martyrs in the home?  This is a time to simplify, reduce, organize or discard.  The home is a place of collaboartion and agility so be a cheerful give.  Yellow can be things you can do to help others.

And now the plan to create the policy begins.

1)  All household members vote on the importance and willingness to create a plan to keep your home clean and organized and eliminate a pet peeve.

2)  Sort the items in order of importance and collaboration with the team members willing to help.

3)  Choose the top 3 or at least one item most important to each member, establish policy and success and return again the following week to evaluate progress.


Some suggestions you mighY adapt our listed below.  Do those things most important from the brainstorm session.  Do a few things well before doing it all.  Remember one step at a time.  Build your habits - and then enjoy the sunlight, the clean counters, the fluffly pillows and more!  Home is your sanctuary.

1.  DEPOSITORY AT OR NEAR THE DOOR.  Use a bowl or a secluded area that has the sole mission of collection.  Make the area large enough to keep wallets, sunglasses, gloves - all the items that come and go will you each day.  Strongly recommend a key hanger large enouch to establish a hold place for all member keys.  Keys should have a latch and the important key to enter and exit the house.  Always hang your keys.

2.  ROOM FOR COATS AND SHOES.  Establish a closet or location that is clear and able to hold the necessary items when exiting or entering the home.  Do you have a shoe rack or a corner near the side of the door.  Keep the closet or hanging rack clear for scarves, dog leash, coats, sweaters, etc.  Keep an eye on the situation and notice when the cluster has occurred.   Design a time based on a recurring event that you cleanse the area.  Sunday night everyone will put away shoes, excess sweaters or coats and restore the collection area for apparel.

3.  DISHES GO IN ONE AT A TIME.   It's fun if everyone adds their own, with a quck rinse and placement into the rack.  This also creates the team and feeling of accomplishment to be part of the solution.

4.  START THE DISHWASHER. Each night or early morning for the early riser.  Some homes or circumstances may require more than once a day, but often the consitency will begin to create a pattern.  If you have a glass or bowl while cooking you can lightly wash during meal preparation and set in drying area as you cook.  If you are an early riser, you may offer to be the one to make the coffee, empty the dishwasher and establish a pleasant kitchen experience in a busy home.

5.  MAKE YOUR BED EVERY DAY. and make your bed easy to make.   Move the pillows, tightly pull up the sheet, align the stitching of the spread or comforter to the sides of the bed.  Prop up the pillows.  Waalah!  Should only take a few minutes and establishes control over your environment.

6.  ESTABLISH COLLECTION POINTS. to move items upstairs and deposit in central location for distribution.  Never walk empty-handed.   When going from one point to the next carry multiple items that you can deposit in your path.  It only takes minutes.  Establish agreed upon points near the stairs, hallway, or bedroom door where you can safely deposit jewelry, clothes and the like.

7. GET MULTIPLE HAMPERS.  We establish a hamper for towels, easy to put in wash and dry after a personal load.  Another central location hamper or closet or shelf will be location for good will items that no longer need to clutter your living space.  Once and done.

8.  CLEAN CLOSET EACH SEASON.  Seek out items to remove.  If you haven't worn it and still can't part it - put it in a part of the closet that is segregated for items to discard if they remain here.  It feels good and quickly forgotten to rid items of little use.  It feels good to make certain that all items provide function if not for you, than for someone that may need or use the items you ignore.  Another tip, is use your downtime in the closet.  If you have a few minutes or are a little tired or non-productive sometimes throughout the week - honoring your clothes by hanging, folding or sorting is a great way to put productivity into work when your brain needs a rest.

9.  RECYCLE.  Multiple trash collection cans are necessary in our environment.  Understand your participation in saving the earth and never say it doesn't matter.  If you do, stop and correct yourself - because it does matter.  

10.  REWARD AND ENCOURAGE!  As your life becomes just a little cleaner and a little organized say thank you to others and yourself for the collaboartion.   Just because someone has assumed a role or task to do something in the routine - don't let routine get to be a drudgery.  Once in awhile provide a surprise - you do the dishes, carry the shoes, or make the bed.  Homes with love provide warm hearts.

Is it working?  Are you doing your part?  Is each item as important as we thought it was?  Do you need adjustments?  This is an evolution - do you need to reconsider?  Swith up tasks.  Provide a long term plan?   Live it & Love it.

Your home is a team.

Next consider the outdoors, the parking of the cars, the placement of the trash cans.  Building systems avoids confusion which minimizes stress.  Policy becomes second nature and no longer requires thought which allows your to be more present with the ones you love.

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Michael Straley

Go Straley Group is a concierge service which began with Rebecca in 1986 and has perfected for the benefit of clients, through experience, education and systems! Rebecca and Michael Straley arre hig....

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