Organizing Advice From Tio Sancho

tacoThere was a TV ad that ran in 1983 for Tio Sancho Tacos, in which Tio himself boldly declares that his tacos “don’t fall apart, so they taste great.” A schlubby guy from off camera says, “I don’t see the connection.” Tio invites the schlub over to try his (inferior) brand taco on camera while Tio tries his (superior) taco. They each take a bite and the schlub’s taco explodes all over his shirt. He tastes nothing. Tio smugly asks “How is yours?” The schlub answers “I don’t know. It fell apart.” Tio gloats, “Really? Mine is delicious.” So what does this 31 year old taco commercial have to do with organizing?

I am the Tio Sancho of organizing. I work with many aesthetic-sensitive clients, so if you were to replace taste with aesthetics and sound tacos with appropriate organizing systems, Tio and I have a lot in common (minus the smugness). Bear with me.

There is fantasy organizing and there is reality organizing. Fantasy organizing is what you might see in glossy magazines or on many Pinterest posts. Reality organizing is finding a storage place for all those large and/or awkward items that you never see in Pinterest or the glossy mags.

I can help you with reality organizing. Like Tio Sancho, I will help you taste that taco. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, perhaps these examples will help.

Garage Buckets

One of my favorite garage organizing solutions is placing tall paint buckets between free-standing shelves. That’s because there are always assorted tall items in a garage that don’t fit conveniently on shelves. The paint bucket and the supporting shelves prevent these items from sliding into the middle of the floor, so your floor is clear. The aesthetically-inclined are not so keen on the idea.

Clear To-Do Files

There is a time and a place for things to be out of sight, out of mind. For things that you want to make a point of acting on, however, they should not be hidden. To give your to-do’s the best odds of getting to done, they should be vertical, visible, and minimal. For that to happen, I recommend a clear incline sorter and clear large envelopes. Clients don’t always like the way this looks.

Hampers out of closets

This one drives me crazy. I often see clients provide “perfectly good” hampers for their kids in their closets or maybe in the laundry room, down the hall, then get mad at them for not picking up their rooms. My solution is open topped hampers next to the bed, one for whites, one for colors. It should be so easy, it feels like cheating, but the client doesn’t like the way the convenient hampers look.

To ignore this advice which helps prevent rakes and lacrosse sticks from littering the garage floor, or prevent papers from littering your desk, or dirty clothes from littering your kid’s floor, I can’t help but ask, “How does yours taste? Mine is delicious.”

What’s your favorite organizing solution that achieves both form AND function?