I am living in a box. No, not really 🙂
But my house contains a lot of boxes.
Many people ask me ‘how do you do all the things that you do?’
Half the time my answer is ‘systems’. The other half of the time it’s ‘boxes’! 🙂
A box is a system. An organizational system. It helps you organize your house, your head, your life.
Our lives already consist of a lot of boxes. There is work and home, family and friends, me-time and kids-time.
When we meet new people we have the tendency to ‘put them in a box’ just by their appearance. The same is true for situations.
And this is good. Because this is how mankind survived until now. Putting things in a box helps you save time. Because next time you come across that same situation, you don’t have to think anymore, you just repeat the same reaction. Unless of course your reaction last time we really stupid and you have learned from your mistake 🙂
Putting things in boxes helps you get rid of clutter and even more clutter.
It not only helps you get organized and have a ‘clean’ house, it also helps you be ready to go at a moment’s notice because everything has a place.
Below are a few examples of the boxes I have in my house 🙂
1. Swimming gear.
This is actually not a box, but a large, blue Ikea bag. It contains toys for the pool, swimming gear, 2in1 shower gel and shampoo, a comb, etc). So when we decide to go to the pool, I grab the bag and the only thing I need to add are the towels and the bathing suits and off we go. Takes 5 minutes.
2. Sand toys.
This is also a bag and it contains anything my boys like to play with at the playground, beach or in the woods. This bag gets thrown in the car very often. Because you never know. My boys are always the coolest kids around, because they always have stuff to play with.
3. Travel kit.
The travel box is actually split in two. One is always in the car and contains a very nifty knee tray for drawing (containing pens and paper), books (sticker books, exercise books, drawing books, sudoku…), CD’s and/or dvds, etc. We also have a seat organizer that’s always installed on the front seats where my boys store their favorite toys (and leave the occasional apple to rot 🙂 These things come in handy when you have to take your kids somewhere unforeseen, because you always have some entertainment at hand.
The other one is for longer trips and contains more of the above. It is usually packed on the spot by the kids themselves.
4. Camping box.
We go camping quite often and have a few boxes that contain the necessary things we need to allow a smooth and quick departure and make our trip hassle free.
5. Bungalow park box.
We also like renting a caravan, chalet or bungalow in a park. If you don’t want to pay a fortune for extra’s, this box is your lifesaver. It contains things such as: kitchen towels, sponge, dishwashing soap, dishwasher tablets, matches, garbage bags, broom and dustpan, salt/pepper, scissors, corkscrew (they are ALWAYS missing when you want to open a bottle of red!), etc.
6. Christmas box.
One box. Not 20. Just one. It contains ALL our Christmas decoration for the house and tree. If we have more than fits in the box (because kids always make new decorations every year), we decide which things have to go (and usually things suffer over the years…think: breakage, uncoolness, etc)
We also have an Easter box and a Halloween-Autumn box.
7. Magazine box.
4, not one 🙂 I keep magazines for my vision board workshops. And they are a great toy for the kids as well whenever they want to cut and paste things.
8. The ‘I always need this stuff when…’ box.
There is stuff I always need when I give a creative training or brainstorming session. So guess where it is? In a box in my office at home.
9. The hanging files box.
I work on many projects. They all live in a box. They each have their hanging file. Kind of old fashioned, I know, but there are some really cool ones here. I especially love their file folders.
10. The manuals box.
Don’t you hate it when your appliance breaks down or something doesn’t work and you need to read up the solution in the manual but can’t remember where the hell you put that bloody thing two years ago? Yup, you guessed it, we have a box for that.
We have a special box for all the kids’ LEGO manuals too 🙂
11. The winter box for your car.
It sits on a shelf in my garage the whole year and moves to my car as soon as the temperature starts dropping. It contains a window scraper, anti freeze spray, anti freeze windshield liquid, gloves, a blanket, a torch, winter boots.
12. The battery box.
We have two. One for new/charged batteries. One for empty ones that need to be taken to recycling. They live in a drawer in the living room.
13. The cable box.
We have several in different locations: cables we often use (labeled or in ziplock bags) in the living room and office, extension cords in the basement, cables we have no clue what they do but might come in handy (if they haven’t been handy in the last year, they move to the recycling center),…
14. The old clothes box.
Regularly we have clothes that are too small, too old or simply unwearable. They go in a box. When it’s full we either give them to friends or take them to the container.
15. The empty box(es).
We do have a lot of empty plastic boxes. For when we need a new box to fill. For when we go on a field trip and we like to pack the car neatly.
So you see, thinking inside a box is actually very creative 🙂
But most of all, these boxes, these systems, create SPACE. In my head, on my TO DO list (because they are already DONE), in my house (because everything has a place)… And that SPACE can then be filled with more important, fun and creative stuff.