If you’ve ever had the chance to attend a professional conference, you know what a rewarding and renewing experience it can be to learn new things and network with people in your profession from all around the world.
At this year’s conference of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, I met organizers from as far away as China and Australia!
In addition to being a geographically diverse group, the organizing professionals I met are varied in the types of organizing they do and the ways they run their businesses. Some organizers have lots of employees while others are solo-entrepreneurs. Specialities include home organizing, business organizing, photo organizing, digital organizing, time management, and more.
Now that Kate Bosch Professional Organizing is in its fourth year in business, I decided to focus on conference sessions that would enable me to run my business smoothly while it grows so I can maintain the level of excellence that my clients expect.
The connecting theme of these conference sessions was “process.” The emphasis was on defining and refining your processes so that what you do becomes more automated and things don’t fall through the cracks.
Thinking about processes can help you be more organized in your home, too. A session called “The Boring Stuff” emphasized using checklists to manage processes. If you know how much I love Wunderlist, you know this resonated with me because I run my life with to do lists. A checklist is just a repeatable to do list.
Use a checklist for processes that involve a series of tasks, such as daily routines. You might create a checklist for your children of things they need to do when they get home from school (hang up backpack, put away lunch box, eat snack, get out homework, etc.) or a checklist for yourself to streamline your morning routine.
If there’s something you do frequently that involves a list of items to remember, use a checklist. For example, create a packing checklist to ensure you’re never caught without essentials such as charging cables, contact lenses, or (gasp!) underwear. You think you’d never forget something so basic, but it’s the mundane stuff that we sometimes overlook. A checklist solves the problem.
The session on using Customer Relations Management (CRM) software taught me that, before you create the checklist, you need to evaluate your processes to make sure they are good and streamlined. If you have a messy process, then continuing to do it will just frustrate you.
Let’s use the example of the child’s after school routine. You want your child to hang the backpack on a hook, but maybe the hook is too high. Or perhaps the child usually comes in through the back door but the backpack cubby is near the front door, so it’s not convenient. These impediments cause a messy process, and a messy house! So solve the problems first (e.g. move the hook lower), then implement the process and checklist with your child. Customize your household processes so they are convenient and efficient for you.
The conference session called “Run Your Business Like a Badass” was all about creating an Operations Manual. You might be asking yourself, “How could a corporate operations manual lecture possibly relate to home organizing?” Simple! If you are managing a household with lots of people, an operations manual might be just what you need to get everyone on the same page and keep the house running smoothly.
Consider creating operations manuals to use as communication tools to share processes and information with family members or others. Here are some ideas for household operations manuals you could create:
Streamlining your processes at home can help you stay organized, keeping your home tidy and running smoothly.
First, evaluate your process by taking a look at what you’re doing to see if steps can be eliminated or if there are stumbling blocks that are getting in your way. Once you know your process is a good one, use a checklist or write up an operations manual to make it easy for you to maintain the process. Periodically reevaluate and update the process and adjust it as your needs change.
Do you need help creating and evaluating a process? Schedule a Video Chat Strategy Session with me! We can discuss what’s not working in your home and your routine, then we’ll construct a plan to get you back in control. Afterward, you’ll receive a written report of your strategy -- an operations manual!
What process in your home or life could you streamline?