fedex-planeWant to make your home more inviting? The dining table is usually a great place to start.  If it’s piled with mail, schoolwork, and crafts then it’s not very welcoming.  To keep your table clear and inviting, it helps to think of it as a runway at the FedEx “Super Hub” at Memphis International Airport.

The most valuable organizing tool is a clear surface for processing. The dining room table may be the best example of this and because it is so valuable, it should never be wasted on storage. There are ALWAYS better alternatives for storage.

Perhaps you agree about the unsightliness of the cluttered dining table, so you store all incoming mail in shelves, bags, or even attractive baskets.  This may keep the table clear, but it doesn’t make you more organized.

Follow the Memphis model. The FedEx airplane doesn’t land and park on the landing strip.  Mail is emptied from it, sorted on the same day, and distributed to many different cities around the world.  The runway is always clear for the next plane because the plan is for processing, NOT STORAGE.

The same plan needs to apply to your dining table.  You don’t need to feel like you must pay your bills the second they come in, but you do need to separate the bills-to-pay from the magazines-to-read and junk mail-to-toss.  Notice how each of those items is attached to an action.  It’s all about keeping the next step in mind.  NONE of these next steps should take place on the table.  It takes seconds to make this simple sort and it gets the mail OFF the table.

To stay organized you need to avoid letting things take up residence on your surfaces.  Circulation prevents accumulation. FedEx has been very successful with this practice and so can you!