Last April, I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Professional Organizers Annual Conference in Florida. During one of the sessions called ” Maintenance Issues – They Keeping Slipping Back: Encouraging Long Term Client Success” presented by Sandra Felton M. Ed, one of the main take- aways was the phrase “stow as you go.” If you can remember this phrase, it will help you to maintain an organized home or office.
When you take out the creamer to put in your morning coffee…don’t even let the creamer hit the kitchen counter. Instead, pour it in your coffee mug and then put it right back in the fridge. Otherwise known as “stow as you go.”
So often disorganization can be caused by not taking the time to put things away. If you remember to “stow as you go” you will not end up with piles of things to put away later.
Likewise, when your kids walk in the door after school, try taking the stack of papers that they hand you and put them into their “homes” right away. By taking the few extra seconds to put something away right then and there, you will end up saving yourself a great deal of time in the end.
In order for this to work, it is crucial that you have a “home” for everything. If you don’t know where something goes, then it often ends up in a pile or on the floor somewhere. Take some time right now to establish a “home” for different items in your space. Use containers and labels when you can.
The other key to successfully “stowing as you go” is leaving a little bit of transition time in between meetings, appointments or activities. When we return from a committment, putting things away that we had out for the time being will help us find them when we need them next time. It will also help keep our surfaces organized. Often, when we rush from one thing to another we set things on the desk or counter “for now” and then don’t get back around to putting things in their proper place because we can never find the time. Things will pile up this way and then be an overwhelming project that you’ll need to schedule time to tackle, or work around, hoping that important things don’t get buried or lost.
We hope you will remember to “stow as you go” as you work on getting organized. Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts on this concept.