Monday, February 7, 2011

Guess Not

Remember this game?  You flip the cards over to find matching pairs.  No match? You have to remember where it is if you need it later.  My daughter Leah, with the photographic memory, was amazing at this game.  Actually, she didn't see why we were bothering to play this game, but it amused her that I couldn't remember where the matching cards were. Kids like knowing more than adults which explains the riddle phase in about first grade and pretty much all of their teen years.  But back to the game-- I don't like guessing.

Guessing where something belongs is not in the fiber of most professional organizers.  We are all in love with our label makers. My linen closet has labeled bins of first aid, dental, and  travel sizes. My kitchen desk area has little drawers labeled glues, tape, and cords. My dog has a labeled bin of pet supplies.  I know some people may be rolling their eyes and find all this labeling to be a little too OCD.   I have to argue that it is great communication for everyone in the house to find and return items when the space is claimed and labeled. No one should have to open every drawer to find the tape. Labels mean you know where to return the item when you are done using it.

Every so often my job takes me to a garage or basement with stacks of totes and boxes.  Sometimes the boxes are not labeled.  Sometimes the boxes are labeled incorrectly (and sometimes the boxes have been moved multiple times and never unpacked, but that is a story for another day.)  Often the lids are separated from the boxes following great searches that resemble the memory card game.  But after we dig in, sort and purge all the totes, consolidate, and find zones in the room where the totes belong, I whip out my labels and label maker. Storage should not be a guessing game. This family will be harmonious this fall when she asks "Honey, could you bring up the Halloween decorations?" and he can be successful finding them.
No guessing. Game over.