As the cost of Metro Vancouver storage climbs, I’m facing the challenge of ensuring we are storing only what we must. I spent several days – with my mother’s help – going through the last 7 or 8 boxes of “stuff” that has survived the multiple moves from address to address.
January is three things to the retail world: White Sales, Get Healthy and Organize Your Life. Take a look at your flyers: Canadian Tire has all their Rubbermaid bins on sale, Old Navy has their workout gear on sale and the Hudson’s Bay is selling off towels.
And there is something about January that spurs on the clean-out mode. Perhaps is it the long stretch from now until Spring, or the excesses from Christmas – both food and things – that get us focused on cleaning, organizing, and reducing. I don’t really know why the white sale traditions in January. Perhaps it is because you had to burn the sheets unwanted holiday visitors slept on?
I watch Hoarders (the TV show) sometimes and cringe always because I was raised by a consolidator. (which we think would be a great reality TV show – match up a hoarder and consolidator in one house and see who goes crazy first). But have you noticed – those who have big houses with lots of space have difficult wrapping their arms around the problem of clutter. Why? Because they have been free to live without unfettered for years – free to collect and gather and store without real implications.
I can tell you – as the manager of the warehouse for my company – the same is true in business. If your business plan calls for a 20,000 square foot warehouse and you have a 40,000 square foot one, watch out! Soon you will have the thing full and wondering where the next incoming shipment will be stored until needed.
Any mistake, poor system or bad decision without dealing with the ramifications will get hidden in your warehouse or closet. And you’ll find yourself looking for space to store your necessities. And while Rubbermaid bins are not going to fix our warehouse, the concept is the same.
Deal with the mistakes, fix the poor systems, review what you’ve got and throw out the valueless.
January 9th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Reenergized by beginning my clean-out plan.
When I started work at Dairy Queen at 14 it was my first experience handling a lot of money. Mom would give me cash to go to the mall – and a ride too – but it was usually something like $7 and it would disappear quickly. Usually on something useless like make-up (which to this day I cannot apply – you’d think its instinctual)
When I started at Dairy Queen, I learned how to clean tables, fill drinks and run orders. Then Prep2, Ice Cream, and to the pivotal position of Prep1. I eventually earned my way to Till2, then Till1, then Drive-thru. When training on till, I learned how to handle money, count back change and basic math. I should say I had to use math, as mother had made me attend school and get good grades. However, Dairy Queens can not make that assumption about all employees. So basic math – or how to use the till to tell you what the correct change was – was taught.
My quasi-friend outside of work and my supervisor at work taught me how the money was stored in the tills – and I have never forgot that lesson. Heads together at the back of the till, top of the bill on the left hand side. But, always heads together at the back at till.
To this day I obsessively store money heads together facing forward. If you give me a couple of $20s, I feel uncomfortable until I twist them together to line up. If I get money of different denominations, I must stack them highest value to lowest value (highest on the bottom). Heads together. This money is then stored with the higher denominations at the back of my wallet – heads on the left, top of bills at the top of my wallet.
It was a real problem for me when the currency design changed in the early 2000s to move the heads from the right side to the left. What won out? Having the heads together or having the bills right side up? (FYI, bills right side up wins.) Fortunately, most of the old bills have now been taken out of circulation, and this is no longer a decision I have to make regularly.
Today I went to the bank to get $200 to pay for our two massages this week. I got ten $20 bills from the Royal Bank Automatic Teller Machine at the Huntsville Royal Bank Branch. They were upside down, backwards, and the heads were definitely not together. Tension. 15 seconds. Aaah, much better.
April 16th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Having a better organizing system for money than the Royal Bank (or whoever tells those Brinks fellows to fill the machine).