A long time ago I once read about “one motion storage.” The concept is to strive to store your things in a way that only requires one motion to retrieve them or put them away. I’m sure most of you do this instinctively most of the time. Like your dinner plates are probably located on the lowest shelf in your cupboard, and nothing else is stacked on them. You need a plate, you open the cupboard, you get one out. Easy.
Lesser used items can be stored in a way that requires multiple motions. The guest towels can go behind the every day towels. The turkey platter can have pie plates stacked on it. The point is that the more you use an item, the less work you want to be doing to get it or put it away. If it’s a much used item and it’s hard to put away, chances are, you’ll let it sit out until the next time you need it.
Did you know that this applies to laundry hampers, too? I took the lids off our laundry hampers years ago and it totally increased the odds of the dirty laundry actually getting into the hamper. Who knew that lifting the lid could be such an obstacle? (oh, and notice I said taking the lid off the hamper increases the odds of clothes going in. I don’t want you getting any false illusions now!)
When we lived in Korea, we had a very small TV that sat on the government-provided end table in the living room. I kept a really nice Longaberger Collector’s Club Membership basket on the TV. It was just the right size to hold our most watched video tapes. You know how children get into watching the same thing every day? Well, those were the videos in the basket. No digging around every single day in the video cabinet – just reach into the pretty basket, get the tape, put it in the VCR. When it was finished, back into the basket.
Now that we’re back in the States and have our TV armoire and larger TV back, the basket doesn’t fit on the top of the TV. Plus, we’ve since made the move to DVDs. But we still have several DVDs that we watch at least once a week, if not more. School DVDs like Geography Songs, Math U See lessons, Science experiments – all get pulled out constantly. Then Bip’s current movie obsessions – Cars, Curious George, Madagascar, to name a few. All these DVDs never end up getting put away.
Here you see them sitting on top of the TV, ready to be used at a moments notice. I guess it is one-motion storage, but of the “it’s too hard to put away, just to get out again, so I’ll just leave them out” variety. And be careful not to bump the TV or you’ll end up with everything on your toes.
Ha, ha! No, I didn’t just close the door on the mess.
I bought a small CD wallet and put all the school DVDs, my workout DVDs and Bip’s movies of the month in it. They are easily accessible just by reaching up, and putting them away will be just as easy. And much better than leaving them out to gather dust. I stuck the cases in the way back of that upper shelf. Yes, I know I should throw them out. My one workout video still in VHS form is on that top shelf, too. Netflix movies are just off to the side of the cable box. I’d rather have them up on that top shelf, but the children need to be able to reach them.
Cleaning up this area was such a small thing, but it makes a big difference.