I’m about to contradict myself. (Best get used to it – I do it alot!)
Last week I started to talk about the importance of having a “landing strip” for your Slow Home. Somewhere to open and sort your mail, drop your purse and keys, hang your bag and hats, sit down to remove your shoes etc. I made it sound like it all had to happen right inside your front door. But that’s not the case.
Many of us don’t have the space in our entryways for many of the jobs a landing strip entails – storage, a seat, hat stand/coat rack, mirror, exit drawer, shoe storage, key holder, mail opening and sorting etc. In fact, most people don’t!
I have been reading Apartment Therapy’s 20/20 Cure, where they suggested it’s more feasible to divide and conquer these tasks. Maybe you have room somewhere near your front door for a stool, a couple of hooks on the wall and a small basket to hold your shoes/toys/gumboots? Or room enough for a small shelf and hooks, where you could place your purse, keys, bags and umbrellas?
Point being, this would give you somewhere to put your things when you come home – somewhere dedicated – so you can always keep track of them. That is a big part of creating a slow home – not needing to search for your handbag and keys before you leave, simply because you always put them in the same place.
Then, to divide and conquer, you could have a separate place where you open your mail and sort it into junk/recyclables, things requiring action and things to file. You could also have a notebook in the same place where you can take notes, write your to-do lists, work out your budget etc.
With this in mind, last weekend Sparky and I finally put up the shelf desk I’ve been yapping on about for months. The idea is to give me a place to open the mail, pay the bills on the laptop, sort the paperwork that inevitably mounts up in the running of a household, answer emails etc.
Previously all this happened in the “spare” room (which is currently a store room) and outside the central flow of our home. So, inevitably, I would dump the mail in the kitchen, open it, leave it in a pile for a few days, move it to the spare room when we had people visiting, form another pile, lose track of what was in the pile, forget to pay the bills on time, wind up with a huge stack of filing, etc. I’d also put off writing emails and doing the internet banking, because the kids always manage to need me if I try and slip into the spare room for five minutes. (Is that a Universal Law of Parenting? Please tell me it is.)
So this centralised admin hub (what a sexy phrase that is) brings all of those things together. And, unlike many of the best laid plans, this one actually works. It includes the laptop, a place to keep filing until I get a chance to do it, a nifty little charger/cord tidy, an open spot for things that require action (if I see it, I’m much more inclined to actually do it), a notepad and a couple of pretty things.
We need to buy some stools, tidy up the electricals, oil the shelf and paint the walls. But she’s functioning, which is awesome.
This system could work in many parts of the home too – the kitchen if it’s big enough, a nook in the living room or the study – as long as it works and works for you, then there is no right or wrong.
Do you have a dedicated admin area in your home? Where abouts in your house is it? I’d love to know what works and what doesn’t!
And, in the meantime, have a wonderful weekend. Sydneysiders – go to the beach or stay in the shade somewhere with a cold drink. It’s gonna be a hot one!! xx