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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help for the "cereal-box-on-the-refrigerator" syndrome.

Forty years ago, Richard Branson's flight was cancelled.  He was stranded on a Caribbean island.  Not a bad place to be stranded if you ask me.  But Branson had to get to the Virgin Islands that day.

No amount of ranting and raving was going to make a difference.  No yelling at a customer service rep was going to get that flight off the ground.  No one cared how much Branson needed to get off that island in order to save his career.

Branson calmly walked across the airport to the charter desk and asked about chartering a flight.  He then borrowed a portable blackboard and wrote, "Seats to Virgin Islands, $39."  He sold enough seats to hire the charter, and made his own flight.  Branson went on to start Virgin Air. 

That story inspires me when faced with an organizing dilemma that seems impossible.  This happened to me years ago, when my kitchen cabinets were too short to hold cereal boxes.  In my mind, I had no  alternative but to store those cereal boxes on top of my refrigerator.  There they stayed for years.

At the same time I worked in an upscale retirement community, where my boss was a stickler for organized beauty.  We couldn't even have a soda can on our desk - it had to be glass.  One day, she mentioned "the cereal-box-on-the-refrigerator syndrome."  Since she hadn't ever been to my home, I guessed I wasn't the only one with this problem.

That day I went home and forced myself to think of a solution.  In fact, it was truly outside-the-box thinking, because I purchased rectangular storage containers that did fit in my cabinets and transferred the cereal.

Sometimes when faced with an organizing dilemma, we need to break the rules.  Who says your kitchen appliances need to be stored in the kitchen?  Why not store clothes in your linen closet?  Maybe we need to think outside the box. 

When I'm stuck, and short on ideas, a trip to the right store can help.  Or, spend some time visiting www.containerstore.com or http://www.organized.com/.  A fresh outlook can help when we can't see beyond (or outside) the boxes on the fridge.

Are you faced with a dilemma now?  If so, post it and we'll brainstorm together.

Grace & Peace,


1 comment:

  1. My dilemma is my very unorganized, messy 15-year-old daughter! I had her school desk in a closed-in cabinet, but she traded with her sister and now her papers spill all over the schoolroom floor, along with odd pieces of clothing, and random stuff. Yes, I ask her to clean it off regularly. Yes, she has appropriate containers. No, she's not like my organized, tidy self at all!