The Smooth Operator Organization Method
Organizing for your lifestyle and personality is not an easy task, you have to be a bit more logical and 100% honest with your likes, dislikes, and habits.
I'm not here to judge, I'm here to help you become more organized and efficient in YOUR OWN WAY and in a way that you can MAINTAIN yourself.
Smooth Operators are my favorite to help get organized because I AM a Smooth Operator myself and therefore have tons of little strategies of my own to share.
The key to getting and staying organized for us is simplicity.
Less Steps = More Efficiency!
If you don't identify with this organization personality type or method you may not be a "Smooth Operator" find the best method for your personality here.
Here are a few tips and organizing aids to help you get started!
Set up Stations
The answer to almost every Smooth Operator space and organizing issue is creating stations. This is my favorite thing to recommend to Smooth Organizers and the feedback is incredible.
It is the easiest way to streamline your routines or tasks and this is what is most important to Smooth Operators.
Here are 9 stations I've either created myself or recommended to Smooth Operators
01. Create a Landing Spot/Launchpad
If you're a Smooth Operator and you haven't set this up in your home it will make you happier than any other little improvement you make.
A landing spot has many names; mudroom, launchpad, entryway system. It's basically the area closest to your usual home entry or your coat closet. While some homes are lucky enough to boast built-in exquisite mudrooms with hooks and shelving galore. In most homes, the landing spot is composed of a bowl for your keys.
While a key bowl works great for some, Smooth Operators thrive on efficient systems so I recommend keeping all of your "for use outside of the home" items in the area closest to your entry.
Items for your Landing Spot/Launchpad:
Dog Leash/ Pet Accesories
Running/Outdoor Fitness accessories
Mail container/letter opener
Think you don't have space for this? Check out my mini-mudroom for renters post. ANYONE can have a strategic and functional launchpad, even if you're a renter!
Here are some of my favorite organizing aids for your entryway:
Related: How to Speed Clean your Entire Home
02. Hair Station
The less you have to struggle to actually get something done the more likely you are to do it. That is especially true in the case of Smooth Operators. Your hair station should consist of the products and styling tools you use on a regular basis and NOT the products/tools you use for special occasions. The key is to streamline and simplify things.
The best upgrade you can do is invest in hot tool organizers and keep these accessible.
03. Makeup Station
Keep your everyday makeup essentials in one drawer. I know, I know it looks so nice to have all of your lipsticks perfectly lined up, prim, proper, and beautiful but the novelty of Instagram-worthy makeup shelves/drawers wears off fast for Smooth Operators. You value flow and efficiency above all else.
So leave the perfectly aligned palettes for the Domestic Goddesses, and keep your daily products in ONE shelf, drawer, or bag.
By limiting your options to ONE drawer or bin you reduce decision fatigue from having to decide which lipstick/blush combo to do today, you reduce the amount of time you spend looking for what you want and it reduces clean up time after you're done because everything goes back in the same drawer.
04. Drink Station
Whether you're a coffee person or a smoothie person drinks have become part of our daily existence and as a Smooth Operator, it's almost cathartic to be able to have everything you need to prepare these drinks in ONE spot.
Keep your blender, coffee machine, powders, sugars, creamers, stirrers, juicers etc.. in the same place to make your mornings smoother!
Maybe all of these things wouldn't traditionally be found in the same drawer or cabinet in the kitchen but it makes the most sense for your personality.
05. Prep Station
Cutting boards, spices, and knives... Oh MY! If you have to walk around the kitchen grabbing materials from other places to prep your food. STOP. Keep all of these items centered in the same area.
I'll use my kitchen as an example, I used to keep the knives in a knife block in the corner of the kitchen, the spices in a cabinet near the stove and my cutting board, mixing bowls and oils beneath the island.
Some creative storage and space reimagining, I now have all of these items exactly where we prep our food.
If set-up and clean-up is easy, you're more likely to do it.
06. Cleaning Station
I have a cleaning station in every room. Because I, as a Smooth Operator, believe that items should live in the rooms where they will be used. I keep the bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom because where else would I need them?
I keep the kitchen cleaning supplies in the kitchen, and while living areas require less clean up, I keep dusters in living areas.
07. TO-DO station
There are things that don't require immediate attention but can pile up and sneak up on even the most organized and streamlined person. So in order to keep your place as clutter-free as possible place the items you need to sort through (mail, magazines, bills, papers, things you need to clean before putting away) in a designated TO-DO bin.
Simple things that you know you don't need to get done right away like archiving documents or receipts, going through magazines, fixing something in the home, putting up a frame etc..
Once that TO-DO bin is full GET TO WORK.
The bin allows you to still procrastinate... but only until its full. I love using magazine holders as to-do bins.
08. Gym Drawer
Clothing, such a hard thing to organize. In my honest opinion, Smooth Operators have the best clothes organizing system out of any other personality type. We don't organize by category we organize by activity.
I'm going to use gym clothes as an example but I also have categories like "work clothes" "party clothes" "severe weather clothes".
I keep my sports bras, exercise bottoms, sneaker socks, gym gloves, resistance bands, headbands, work-out tanks, and anything else I need to get ready to go to the gym or get a quick workout in within the SAME drawer.
It makes getting ready that much faster and easier.
I keep my severe weather items and clothing in my "cold drawer". This is where my winter gloves, earmuffs, beanies, scarves, thermals, hand warmers, and thermal socks live. Whenever it drops below 30 degrees this drawer holds everything I need to survive (and I never lose anything).
Pro-Tip: Use drawer dividers to organize within your drawers.
09. Travel Kit
Keep your earbuds, neck pillow, baby wipes, crossword puzzle, extra charger, pen, hand sanitizer and basically anything you will need to use while on a plane or train in your carry-on bag. This way you will never forget these easy to misplace items and they will already be packed and ready to go.
My favorite travel organizer are the grid-it systems, they're sleek and take up very little space in my bag.
A few other tips for Smooth Operators:
Labels are Last
Your pursuit to make life easier and more efficient means you need the flexibility to change things up as your needs change and your life evolves. Peeling off old labels and creating new labels every single time you change something up is a pain. Don't get hung up on labeling until you're satisfied with your system.
Then, by all means, go crazy with the labels!
Pro Tip: Painters tape and Sharpie make excellent temporary labels without leaving any sticky residue behind.
Invest in the right containers
Smooth Operators LOVE visual simplicity, it makes everything look cleaner and put-together even when it is not.
Use clear containers within cabinets and drawers.
Use colored or closed containers for vanities, countertops, and anything that will be constantly displayed.
Technology is your Best Friend
Smooth Operators LIVE for the work smarter... not harder ideas in life, so if a machine can do something FOR you then why are you doing it yourself?
My favorite tech-meets-home gadget: The Robot Vac