Systems

My motivation that brought me to my current lifestyle was efficiency. I strived to figure out how to be more productive while dealing with what needed to be done. I definitely was overwhelmed.

Ultimately, that path to efficiency led me to creating frameworks and systems for how my work is to be completed.

My mother explified this in my youth.

Mom had been an only child. She lost her mother early. The result was that she was treated regally in her family. Spoilt some might say. 😉 But she also is from a generation that approached life differently than many today do.

As a young mother of two running a household, she was responsible for tasks I suspect she rather not be. Laundry, for instance. She accepted her role and sought to make efficient.

The seemingly unsolvable missing sock syndrome put Mom in a position to show her talent. She devised a plan to resolve it. She purchased many safety pins. She distributed them to me and my father. Somehow, I do not think my sister had to go through this. Before laundry would be completed, socks had to be turned right-side out and then pinned together with its mate. Doing so kept socks from disappearing.

It sounds like a simple task. And for my mother, it was. She created the command. End of work on her part. As for my father and me, it was a horrible experience. We had to spend time matching up the mates from the hamper. That had us digging and dumping laundry everywhere.

What this system actually was was a transfer of who did the work. Mom’s work becamse far more efficient, but the task wasn’t actually streamlined.

Studying the situation, the problem could have been improved with the removal of the community hamper. As a piece of furniture, it really doesn’t make things efficient. Take your dirty laundry to the prominently placed recepticle. Then pore through the recepticle on laundry day. Carry hamper to laundry area. Return hamper to its prominent spot. Sort laundry. Complete laundry. Fold laundry. Return laundry to where it belongs.

That is not how my laundry flow works these days.

I have a wardrobe that is all in a similar color pallatte. That means there is no sorting of laundry needed. Everything can and is washed together.

I do not use a hamper. I use a laundry basket. That is placed in the clothes closet. It is hidden, but it is also in the location of the clothes. I just drop the clothes in it as I reach for the new clothes I am wearing.

The laundry basket is taken to the laundry area (Here’s an idea for single people: laundry in a closet in your bedroom). The clothes are added to the washing machine that is prepped. Basket sits atop the dryer. Laundry is moved to the dryer, basket is moved to the washing machine (this keeps rattling from happening). When the laundry is completed, it is dumped into the laundry basket, taken to the bedroom, dumped onto the bed, and then folded immediately. The basket returns to the closet floor and the clothes are put away.

No pins needed. Nothing lost. All accounted for.

Specifically regarding the socks, all my socks match. Each has a design on it. Extending this out for multiple people, each person could have his own style of sock. No pinning necessary for the red stripe socks are mine, the yellow swirls are yours, etc.

It seems to me systems, like technology, should make tasks more efficient. Transferring the task to someone else does not do that.

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