Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Refill Fairy

If you have ever heard me refer to myself as the "Refill Fairy", you know it is a touchy subject. I feel like I am the one who goes around refilling the continuous supplies of toilet paper, Kleenex, napkins and assorted paper or food goods. Inevitably I seem to be the one who comes upon the Kleenex box to take the last tissue or the one who hits the end of the toilet roll and must replace. It's been more than once that I've gone to grab a paper towel just to realize the holder is empty. Aargh. Replace or refill! It's endless!

Ok, how does this venting apply to organizing or redesign, you ask? The piece that allows me to keep much of my sanity is making refilling/replacing accessible. Here are some tips that will help you (and any others who help with this mundane task) refill efficiently.

  • If at all possible, keep the extras near where they are to be used. For ex., toilet paper in the bathrooms; paper towels in the kitchen or pantry.
  • When buying in bulk, this means you might consider a 2-step process: the majority of back-up products are in the pantry or basement (where you have the most extra space), and a few extra of the product are in the actual room (where the item is used).
  • Better to have organized space than too much of any one thing in that space. I have the giant pack of toilet paper in the basement storage, but keep a few rolls handy in each small bathroom in a vertical holder. Also, because kitchen cabinet space is limited, I keep a few representative/various cans of soup et al but multiples of that same type are in the basement storage spot.
  • It is easier to have others help or guests find what they need if the item is nearby and logical, especially if it is in the same room. If someone has to go downstairs or has no idea where to find the refill, they are less likely to refill.
  • Don't overstock on bulk items to the point it's overkill. You want enough to make replacing convenient. You're not filling up a bomb shelter.
  • Get into the habit of noting on your grocery list what you just replaced to ensure you buy more it and it's available for the next time the Refill Fairy comes!