Last Thursday I had the privilege of hearing professional organizer Stephanie Calahan speak. She shared about how she and her husband have very different organizational styles. Then she explained how they have found a middle ground of organization they can agree upon. That’s when she shared a term that I got excited about.
She said that she and her husband agreed that their main floor would be kept “public ready,” as much as possible. In other words she didn’t want to be horribly embarrassed if someone dropped by unexpectedly.
I loved this concept! Mark was sitting in the audience listening as well and I leaned over to him and said, “That’s what I’ve tried to communicate to you but I didn’t have a term to describe it! Now I have the words “public ready” to help describe what I’d like to work toward.
Stephanie went on to explain that her basement is her husband’s man cave so she has little expectation of how it is maintained. And the upper level is their bedrooms and certainly the expectations are more relaxed there as well.
I loved this concept and I thought it was something we could introduce to our family.
When our kids were little and we had toys all over the main level, I used to keep a large basket in every room that we could quickly throw toys into at a moments notice.
These days, I fight the usual stuff that lays around with five people living under the same roof: socks tossed off while watching TV, blankets used on the couch but not put away, and school papers on the kitchen counter. But now we have a term to describe a small vision of what I hope to achieve.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not looking for Martha Stewart perfect. That wouldn’t be a home.
I’m simply looking for some sense of organization that allows a friend to come in unexpectedly, sit down at my kitchen island and actually be able to put her elbows on the counter and relax as we sip a cup of tea together.
What about you? What organization tips do you have to find some sense of “public ready” in your house?
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Jill, I was so excited to see this post today! Because of your book & a few other nudges from God finally gave me the nerve to start my own company as a Professional Organizer. (1) We need the money because I'm the only one working in the house. (2) Organizing & helping others is my passion & (3) I think this is my calling from God.
I need the extra income & I want to help people & teach them systems that work. I have decided to make a committment to provide a low cost option for the average family that is need of HELP! The start is slow but in the meantime I blog & give tips on my website. The word is getting out & just that the recession is hitting everyone hard. I've been praying to God to ask him if this is really my calling & to give me patience while my business grows.
I just posted something today that is a good tip (well in my house anyways) We Make a rule that certain surfaces can not become a dumping ground. We a special place to hang or place keys and mail, backpacks and books, handbags, coats and jackets. We have an organized system in our entry way. Seems obvious enough, but these are the standard items that create clutter on a daily basis.
I love the idea, but my house is so small, and especially with three young kids, there is no way to keep it in a constant state like that. But even to clean up, my idea and their idea is different, so this is a good way to convey it to them. Thanks!
I had my house public ready on Monday, and on Tuesday when my mom and her friend dropped by, it was horrible! One of these days…
Yes, yes, yes! I like this and it is my goal to do this at our new home. We are in a temporary duplex right now and have a lot of our stuff in storage. The stuff in storage I haven't really missed so I'm going to get rid of a lot of stuff and not let it clutter up the new house. I like this phrase Public Ready.
My biggest "public ready" enemies are toys, books and dirty dishes (in the kitchen). We have a large basket in the living room for stray toys and my kids know they don't haul Thomas tracks or Lincoln logs in there without permission. I've also designated homes for the different types of books we have. As a home school family we are addicted to books! So the living room has a shelf for our school books and another shelf for our library books. I also have a small basket for my 2 year olds picture/board books. All other books are kept on shelves in the basement and returned there when completed. The same goes for their toys. With 4 kids in a 1200 sq. foot house I could be easily overcome by toys. So I've determined homes for all of them and rotate the toys from the bedrooms to storage in the basement. I'm a firm believer that it is possible to live in a house without it looking like a daycare while my kids enjoy their toys. It just takes making a plan and teaching it to my kids. 🙂
We live in a 34 ft. travel trailer so we do not have much room to store things but at the same time we must keep things picked up on a regular basis. My little kitchen table does multiple duties. During the day it is desk top. I am constantly trying to figure out how to be more organized with my things on top and around the table. Considering the kitchen, living room and dining room all in the same room I have had to learn to clutter daily. The biggest thing… keep the sink clean of dishes. You can have a clean house, but if there are dishes in the sink the whole house looks dirty. That's my key…
Thank you for sharing.. blessings