25th Hour Organizing

"Because 24 Just Isn't Enough"

Make Every Step Count January 29, 2010

Filed under: General Organizing — Christine @ 7:09 am

I talk about Economy of Movement in my organizing classes. In a nutshell, EoM is about making every step count.

I was reminded of this over the past two days. I have owned a housecleaning business for the past five years. My next-door neighbor just started her own housecleaning business with her sister-in-law and she’s been calling for advice. “How long should a cleaning take? What should I charge? Should I bill it out by the hour or as a set fee? How can we be more efficient?”

Cleaning a house, especially if you are doing it for a living, is a fine example of wanting to make every step count.

But honestly, if you could add an extra hour to your day by employing the use of EoM, what more could you get done or accomplish in your day? Imagine what you could do with an extra hour or two!

Economy of Movement is simple and complicated at the same time. To be successful at it, you simply need to be more aware as you move through your day. Let me give you an example:

Example: As you drive in your car, you look over and see a fast food bag on the floor, some dirty napkins strewn around, and other items that need to be thrown away along with some little figurines that belong in your daughter’s room. At the next red light, lean over and grab the bag and fill it full of trash. Pick up the little figurines and place them in your purse. (obviously, keep an eye on the light so that it doesn’t change while you are oblivious to it!) When you arrive home, grab the bag full of trash, your purse, and run past the mailbox. When you enter your house, drop the mail and any receipts from your purse (maybe the fast food receipt) into the Mail/Receipts bucket, hang up your coat, put away your purse after handing the figurines to your child, and toss the trash into the kitchen wastebasket.

Results: You have managed to keep all of your mail and financial records in one place (the Mail/Receipts bucket). Your coat and purse are put away. Your car is tidy and well-organized and it no longer has little figurines rolling around in it. Tomorrow, when you get back into it and are rushing to drop your child off at daycare/school, she’ll have a place to put her feet and you will feel less stressed without the clutter and garbage.

Economy of Movement can be as simple as taking that used or dirty dish from a snack in bed the night before with you as you walk towards the kitchen to make yourself coffee. Coffee takes a moment to brew and since you are right there, why not tidy the kitchen up? Load or unload the dishwasher. As you run the water it heats and you can use it to wet a dishrag and wipe down the counters or one of the shelves in the refrigerator. Just as the coffee finish burbling into the carafe you have a reasonably clean kitchen. It isn’t perfect, but then, not many kitchens are.

These are just a few examples of making every step count. Think about your life, become aware of your patterns, and come up with ways in which you can reduce your clutter in a few less steps. Make every step count!!!!


One Response to “Make Every Step Count”

  1. shannon Says:

    I learned this concept several years ago after watching my mother-in-law complete several tasks in one swoop from basement to 3rd floor. After I got over my initial shock and awe … I started doing it myself (most days) and love the simplicity and ease of it – although, now, I do not expend as many calories from making several trips up and down three flights of stairs … I guess the few extra pounds are worth the time I save … and one of these days, I will be able to use that “extra time” to exercise 🙂

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