Nothing is quite as frustrating as knowing you have something and not being able to find it. And when you work from home — whether you're meeting with clients or just handling the family finances — frustrating can quickly turn into agonizing. Instead of scrambling, employ a 'First Order Retrievability' organization philosophy, like Adam Savage of Mythbusters.
Nobody knows tools better than the Mythbusters. When your job involves creating unusual scenarios from scratch, you need to have a warehouse full of gear available at easy reach. So how does Adam Savage, the one without the Colonel Mustard Moustache, keep it all organized?
On his website, Adam writes:
"Ahh, my toolboxes. Obsessed with working quickly, I've spent years designing toolboxes with what I call 'First Order Retrievability'. That is, that nothing need be moved out of the way to get to anything else. [Below] is version 2.0. The Scissor lifts are so that, when seated, I needn't lean over too far to get to the tool I need."
That's his tool box above, in a photo for Wired Magazine, where he recently shared his 'First Order Retrievability' philosophy with the world.
At home, you don't need to invest time or money into an articulated aluminum toolbox like Mr. Mythbuster here. Instead, use the foundation of First Order Retrievability — that nothing should be moved out of the way to get to anything else — to inform your workspace choices. Here's a few tips:
• Consider the tools of your trade. If the tools and materials you work with are small and compact, you'll want your office storage to be the same. Small tools would get lost and cluttered inside large drawers or bins.
• Don't underestimate the power of drawer organizers. Divide large storage spaces into smaller ones with dividers (DIY cereal box dividers work just as well as store-bought ones) and maintain the "everything in its place" strategy to make everything easy to get to.
• No workspace is perfect. If you can't make every office "tool" available to you at first reach, make sure your most common items — pens, scissors, whatever! — are stored with First Order in mind.