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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Use Valets to Help Your Bedroom Stay Neat

When I first heard the term "valet" applied to the home, my own ignorance showed up. "Only the wealthy have valet service at home! What are these people talking about?" Nope, that wasn't the type of valet the professional organizers were referring to. Oops. Well, now I know what they meant, at least. Valets are, quite frankly, awesome. They should've handed these out in school instead of diplomas. Shouldn't the skills of organizing be taught in school, by the way? I really think it should. I mean, not all of us are born knowing how to be neat, and a lot of us didn't have elders who taught it, either. Yes, there's home economics, but my home ec. class never taught me how to organize my home! Come to think of it, my high school math classes never told me how to calculate simple interest, open or balance a checking account, how much to save for retirement, or very much else besides algebra. Hmm. I think I might've just found a new cause in my life!

Anyway, since I started using valets, I not only feel super-organized, I look super-organized. And so does my bedroom. Grins all the way around. My bedroom has always been fairly neat in my adult life, and I'm not terribly forgetful, but valets are a way to keep items together which particularly make mornings go much smoother. I notice sometimes that men seem to do this aspect of organizing better. Every night, many of them put their watch, ring, wallet, spare change, the pen they keep in their shirt pocket, etc., into one tray or place in the house- usually on the dresser or nightstand, or occasionally by the front door (at least for some of their stuff). I think it's because they keep everything on their person, as a rule, and we women have stuff more scattered about. And we're usually expected, or believe we're expected, to carry more with us. Carrying a purse may be part of it. I know, at least as a Southerner, it can even be sort of frowned upon to be too "utilitarian", un-ladylike or masculine as a female- keeping your stuff in your pockets is discouraged from an early age in a lot of girls. Tossing things into a purse is more typical. But, often, it can make a person forget things OR at the very least, not be able to easily find what they use everyday.

Here are the valets I love for making a dresser, nightstand or desk drawer into an organizer's dream (some of them out there also are charging stations for electronics, which is a HUGE plus):

Off-topic, but an important point: If one is made for your model, seriously consider investing in a belt clip for your cell phone. You can keep it on vibrate & still be able to hear/feel it. As long as it's hidden under a shirt or in a pocket, the phone isn't being used all day, and the phone itself is kept on vibrate, I've never seen any managers have a problem with someone carrying their cell phone this way. It frees up space in your purse even if you do still choose to use one. Having it on you at all times is great if you ever fall & can't get to another phone, have your purse stolen (at least the thief wouldn't have your phone) or need to be perpetually "on-call" due to having kids or a particular kind of job.

I think one skill FlyLady teaches can be the difference between a harried morning, and a peaceful one, and laying out your outfit the day night before (for the next day) is that rule. But not everyone has space to lay out their clothes & shoes in one flat area. A door valet can keep all of your clothes and/or jewelry hung up, in case you don't like to fold them or put things all together. And I know for men's clothing, that can be even more of a need, not to fold clothing, since it'll lead to wrinkles.

Free-standing valets are a combination of a door valet & a surface valet. They tend to be more expensive, require some assembly & are harder to find. Nonetheless, they can be advantageous, and some people might prefer them. Having a mirror with one is nice, too.

Here's to being a happy organized minimalist,


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