End of Day Routines

At today's appointment, Penny the Pack Rat and I will be working on creating a system that allows Penny to keep her space organized on a daily basis.  I like to call this the "15 Minute Pickup." 

We've been working together in her common areas (living room, kitchen, family room, etc.).  So, that she would feel more comfortable having guests.  Now, she'd like to be prepared in case someone just drops by.  That can be stressful!  What if the house is a mess again, she asked me.  Well, let's make a game plan so you don't have to worry about that happening.

If a space, like the areas we've already worked in, are relatively organized, it will be easy to keep up with them on a regular basis.  Every night before bed Penny will set a time for 15 minutes.  Then, she'll walk through these areas picking up anything that is out of place.  Sometimes it will just need to be put back on a shelf or in a basket in that same room (think magazines, remotes, etc.).  And, other times, it will need to be put away in another room (think toys, clothes, shoes).  Unless there's a big project that's been laid out during the day, 15 minutes is plenty of time for a pre-bed pick up. 

Now, Penny can wake up to an organized and guest- ready space!  The key is to stay focused during those 15 minutes.  The first couple times Penny set the timer, she found herself sitting down to read that book she was going to put away.  She forgot about the timer when she went in the kitchen and got a snack instead of putting away the clean dishes and reloading the dishwasher.  I suggested to her that she try carrying the timer with her in a basket that she'll use to move items from room to room.  Or, use a watch timer.  Then, it's with her and will serve as a visual reminder of her task at hand.

Next stop, private areas: bedrooms, bathrooms and closets!

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