When you’re on the job 24/7, anything that wastes your time is simply unacceptable.
I think the biggest culprit of all is the time I’ve wasted looking for something I need, I know I have, but I just can’t find.
This drives me crazy.
I’ve cut down on a lot of these hunting expeditions through the use of kits, or what I prefer to call “ready packs.”
The inspiration came when my sister-in-law, Sharon, and I were researching and writing The Hurricane Handbook: A Practical Guide for Residents of the Hurricane Belt. We generated varied lists of useful items based on hurricane preparations for families. I eventually realized that I could apply this concept to everyday activities and projects.
The key is to keep the collected items together and contained so that I simply go to the appropriate ready pack where I can put my hand on just what I need. Basically, I get organized by containerizing. The key is to assemble fairly specific packs rather than just storing as much as you can squish into a big, over-sized bin.
I start by making a list of items appropriate for each pack. I’ll share some of my ready pack lists over the next couple of weeks.
Next, I set aside some time to actually hunt for the items that I already have just one last time. I set the collection on a counter top or table, and determine what kind of container will work for what I already have plus the items I want to add over time.
It’s amazing (and even a little disturbing) to discover how many of the items on the list I already have. But buried in a closet or drawer, they’re useless to me.
This simple project has actually saved me tons of money in the long run because I wasn’t constantly replacing items that I already had but couldn’t find.
I print up a list of items for each pack and keep it in the container. I just adjust the list as needs change. If you’re gathering a first aid kit, the list is a handy spot to note expiration dates.
You don’t have to buy fancy, specialized (i.e. expensive) containers. I think the most versatile containers are clear, plastic, shoe boxes from a discount store. The size works for most items, you can immediately tell what’s inside, and they stack for efficient storage. My favorite container for a first aid pack and small items like nails and screws is a tackle box.
Here’s an example of a Ready Pack to keep near the door or even in your car when you get a chance to spend a few hours outdoors. Please note that nothing needs to be plugged in or charged up. Perfect no matter what age your kids are!
Outdoor Fun Pack
- picnic cloth
- bug spray
- buckets and shovels
- magnifying glass
- bug keeper
What would you add or change for your family?