Organizing Lessons From the Boutique

After we have purged the excess stuff from a client’s home, we have a conversation about how best to organize and store what’s left. This involves a discussion about the showroom vs. stockroom approach, which I have written about before. This time, I want to revisit the showroom vs. stockroom approach, with the aid of two useful images.

SpecialtyDisplayIn this image of the showroom you can see a small number of clothes, extremely visible, compelling, and accessible. Everything is stored below eye level. It is well-lit, open and inviting. This should be the model for your kitchen and home office.

In this image of the stockroom you can see a much larger number of clothes, stored vertically, and close together. It is important to note that everything is still very findable, but the shelves don’t provide quite the same easy access, that you need to provide the customer in the showroom.

For the kitchen, the stockroom could be the pantry, basement, or garage, depending on the layout of your home. By storing backup supplies and seasonal/occasional items more remotely, you free up more space for preparing food more comfortably in the kitchen.

For the home office, the stockroom could be a closet in your office, or, again, the basement or garage, depending on the layout of your home. By storing back up supplies and archive files more remotely, you free up space in your file cabinet and your work surfaces, which I consider to be your #1 organizing tool, because it allows for processing.

You could even extend the showroom vs. stockroom analogy to my headlines vs. story analogy, for time management. Read about that one here.

The main point to take away from this analogy is that while most of us get that some remote storage is necessary, it is important to make sure that the contents of the remote storage is systematic and findable, so that you trust it. When you trust your remote storage, it allows the freedom to be your most productive in your “show rooms.”