Thursday, March 29, 2007

Organizing the home by "stations"

The Seven Essential “Stations” Every Home Should Have offers an interesting thought that makes some sense.

Like many my house has clutter. Clutter has a cost in making it hard to find things, in keeping a constant chaos in your life, and by filling the space it limits what you can do in your own home. And it seems to me after long reflection on it, the condition of ones home really does reflect ones inner condition. So I'm looking at ways to be more organized one aspect of which is to have less clutter.

The article linked above suggests seven "stations" every home should have. By "station" they seem to be referring to the adage: A place for everything and everything in its place This adage is said to mean that everything should have a place to be stored in and that it should be tidily returned there when not in use.

The article linked above suggests seven places they think are applicable to every home. But it is obvious to me their specific seven stations do not apply to everybody, as they certainly do not apply to me. But the general concept is worthy of consideration.

The Destination Station is meant to be inside the front door and is the place where you dump all your stuff just as you enter the house. Such as keys, coats, gloves, etc. This one makes a lot of sense and I recognize I've been doing this ad-hoc. I'm going to take a look at how I can improve this. However what happens when you use different doors at different times? Sometimes I might enter or leave the house through the garage rather than the front door, depending on which vehicle I've used.

The Communication Station is meant for messages between family members. Well, since I live alone there are no family members with which to communicate. Further in this age of ubiquitous cell phones perhaps intra-family communications can be done with SMS messages? It occurs to me though that a helpful thing would be a place to leave messages to myself. If I think of something that needs to be done, but the current moment is not the right time, what do I do with that idea? There's a need for a place to record those ideas or else they'll be forgotten, right? This could be as simple as a corkboard or a whiteboard somewhere.

The Donation Station is something I do, because I'm always giving excess stuff to the various charitable agencies like Goodwill. Like the Destination Station I've not done this as a specific "station" but it's a corner in the house where there's usually a pile of stuff getting ready to go to Goodwill.

The Gift and Shipping Station contains, not the gifts themselves, but the paraphenalia for gift giving and shipping stuff. I'm having a hard time seeing this one. Well, I do have various items like this stuffed in nooks and crannies around the house, perhaps bringing those all to one place will be helpful. But I don't ship things often enough that it's been a priority. So I wonder if there's a pre-condition to establishing a "station" of the activity being something you do regularly..?

The Education Station is meant to be a place for the kids to do their homework and other paraphenalia related to their education. For my case I don't have any kids (no family) so it seems this one doesn't apply to me. Except, I think education never ends so why does this have to be only for the kids? Why not store the adult education stuff in this station? If you do have kids it might help them get the importance of education if they see their parents continually to educating themselves.

The Creation Station is meant for artists and has all the stuff related to their art. Makes sense in a way, but I wonder about the under-theme that only artists can be creative.

The Administration Station is the home office and would have stuff related to household records, etc. This is obvious and probably most homes already have this, I have this in my home.

Some other stations that I might suggest are for Outdoor Recreation, the Home Library, etc. The bathroom could be seen as a "station" for personal cleanliness.