Do you ever feel that your house sometimes seems like one big traffic jam? Too much incoming and not enough outgoing? Is there bottle-necking in the highly congested areas? Are some hallways hard to maneuver without stepping over things? Consider this. If your house is clogged up, you can probably ease up the congestion with just a little more organization.
Creating definitive zones in your home will help manage the way you and your family use your spaces. If your mail lands on a counter that is in a very active hub in your home, chances are it will be knocked over, mislaid, or even disappear. If sweaters, jackets and coats, and scarves are not put away, chances are they will get mixed in with a pile of other unattended clutter. This is a perfect storm for misplacing or losing important items. Too often, items like keys, glasses and cell phones are notoriously misplaced or buried because we put them somewhere or anywhere without a conscious effort to put them in a consistent place. And if your household is a particular hectic one with multiple activities, children, etc. the mess could get ugly. General family clutter creates chaos for everybody in the home. For adults, it could mean a missing magazine or an important bill; for the kids, it’s a missing piece to a favorite toy, board game or puzzle. Assess the damage. Time to organize. Separate the clutter, and organize specific places for each individual family member’s stuff. Too many people sharing the same spaces with little or no regard for organization can only lead to trouble. More importantly, homeless things and unattended clutter can become serious hazards for everybody living in the home.
Find your busy intersection in your home and control it. Imagine a natural flow when entering your home at the end of a typical day; hanging up the jacket in the coat closet, then placing the keys in a bowl or on a hook, onto dropping the mail in a designated basket or tray, and thereafter returning your phone, glasses, briefcase or handbag back to its consistent resting place. Now you’re ready to move through your home without a trail. Pretty easy, huh? As a result, you won’t need to put anything away later, and you also know where to find them when you need them. You’ve just cut your losses, literally.
If the kitchen is the most popular hub in your home, design the space so it can accommodate the heavy traffic. Be creative and make your spaces work for you. Avoid clogging the areas near the fridge with frequently used appliances. Keep counter tops clear so that more than one person can utilize an adjacent area without vying for the same spot. Encourage traffic to flow away from the crowded areas, creating more of a one-way traffic pattern into the more open spaces.
If you find yourself walking in circles to look for something, maybe you should rethink its location and accessibility. A simple change can alter the flow of your home. Leave the traffic jams for the road , prevent them from invading your own home.
Does your home have a good flow? Can you identify any hazard signs in your home?