Is your bed and breakfast organized enough? This blog post is inspired by the book called, Organized Enough: The Anti-Perfectionist's Guide to Getting--and Staying--Organized by Amanda Sullivan. Our homes and inns are a reflection of our minds.
While most people (including me) do not have as spacious or luxurious a closet as pictured above, we can ask ourselves the following questions:
- Why do I need this?
- What is it doing here?
- Does it work?
- Does it get used?
- When is this needed?
- Does it reflect me (and the style of our inn)?
- Do I love it?
- How many do I need?
- Where is the logical place that I will remember to look for it?
- Does it belong here?
- Does it fit who I am now?
- Can I let go?
Sullivan focuses the first part of her book on the acronym FLOW:
- Forgive yourself
- Let stuff go
- Organize what's left
- Weed constantly
Her organization tips include:
- Go through your home and see it as if for the first time (or see it from your guests' perspectives)
- Create simple systems with easy routines
- Gather all of one category to evaluate together (get rid of what is not needed)
- Make sure your containers are well labeled and easily accessible
- Keep a bag/box dedicated for items that need to be passed on
- Having less means fewer objects to keep track of
- Designate dedicated areas for items (everything needs an exit or resting place)
- Develop the habit of weeding constantly to keep chaos at bay
- Put what you regularly use in the easiest access spots
- Try to deal with the stuff on your desk every day
- Eliminate piles of paper (including mail) by dealing with it as it comes in
- Have a recycling bin and shredder near your designated paper area
- When filing digitally, you want to be able to access what you are looking for and know what a document is without having to open it
- Be consistent in your labeling system to make it easy for you (and your staff) to find what you're looking for
- Keep the most-used files in the front of the easiest access cabinet
- Store tax information by year (and keep 7 years of tax backup documents)
- When your file cabinet is full, look to weed rather than buy another file cabinet
- Give everything a home and stick to those boundaries
- As we stick with a habit, it requires less and less of our concentration
- Make a habit of knowing what you have so you can keep your stock replenished without over-purchasing
- Practice cultivating consistency in all of your routines
The benefits to breaking down disorganization habits:
- Less clutter
- Less waste
- Less stress
- Less running out of things
- More serene environment
- More beauty
- Knowing where things are
Even if the guest areas of your bed and breakfast are very tidy, what about the places that only the owners/innkeepers, their family, and their staff spends time in? The book specifies that "organized enough" does not mean that all your spaces have to be perfect, but they should be functional.
This book motivated me (Kristi Dement) to organize my piles of mail (it only took me THREE HOURS) into a more efficient system. I am also going to look into automatic online payments to cut down on the amount of bills I receive in the mail (this saves time and it is better for the environment).
The Science of Staying Organized (The Most Chic)