A long time ago (about 10 years or so), before I was a wife and mommy, I worked as the Executive Assistant at a northeast Ohio, family-owned Chrysler dealership. I worked closely with the owner and his family, doing everything from tracking salemen’s stats to typing his correspondences, proofing newspaper ads, managing office supplies, planning events, and booking travel for him, his family, or various employees.
I absolutely loved this job, and my boss was great. He was a very good businessman and a generous and kind man. The only reason that I ever left was because I had met this guy named Brad, who lived about 3 hours away, and we wanted to get married.
While I remember those days fondly and think of and pray for my coworkers and boss often, there was something I recalled the other day that I always thought was one of the most simple, but wise practices for taking care of his business that my boss had.
And when I pondered it, I thought to myself, “Why have I never done this for our home?”
Every so often, at least once a quarter, my boss would have me add a “Facility Walk” into his schedule. This meant that on an appointed morning, he, the Lot Manager, and I would be literally walking all over the dealership property, looking at everything, inside and out. I took scribbled notes in my own version of abbreviations and shorthand, as my boss pointed out places that needed maintenance, cleaning, reorganized, and generally brought back up to Five-Star standards.
It could be anything from “replenish the brochures in the showroom” to “replace a ceiling tile by the cashier’s booth” to “bathroom needs repainted” or “Pre-Owned showroom needs retiled.” Anything that needed attention was written down and documented.
We visited every department and room on the premises: finance, service, parts, reconditioning, sales, the offices, the waiting rooms, the break rooms, and the restrooms, as well as the outsides of all the buildings, the entire lot, and all the landscaping and signage.
It usually took us a couple of hours. Once we were done, I took my notes to my office and spent some time typing them out, creating a master checklist for that day’s entire walk as well as sorting out the assignments into individualized checklists for different employees or departments who would be responsible for taking care of each task.
Every task also had a deadline for completion, and believe me, my boss followed up.
His attentive stewardship of his company showed, too, and the customers and employees appreciated the clean, well-maintained dealership.
Fast forward about 10 years, and Brad and I are working to declutter and organize our home. Two little boys make keeping up with it all a bit tricky. During the week, my main focus is keeping them fed, clothed, clean(ish), and alive, and I try to stay on top of laundry, dishes, and dirty floors as much as they allow me.
However, maintaining a home well requires more than that every so often.
So, we’re carving out some time, with hubby using some time off, to really go over our house and attend to areas that don’t always get the most attention.
That’s when I thought of the facility walks.
While I have a few major to-do projects written down and a few more in my head, we need to go through our home, room by room, and make notes, prioritize, and plan.
I know that we won’t accomplish all the tasks this week or even this month, but at least we’ll have a goal to work toward.
Maybe after we accomplish these, we can set a new goal that will require me to dust off my “travel-booking” skills. 🙂
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE HABITS OR TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR HOME ORGANIZED?