Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Zoning the areas of the house helps with decluttering

Over the last few years our house has been in an interesting state of upheavel.  As part of my Permaculture Applied Diploma I have been re-designing our house and trying to zone it so that things are in the right place, easy to find but most importantly easier to keep tidy.  This is not an effortless feat seeing as I am messy and I tend to have at least 5 craft projects on the go which seem to spread themselves around the house.  I am trying to find a dedicated craft area but at present we are still trying to finish the kitchen before we can work out what to do with the old dining room, before I can then work on the rest.
However, I have managed to majorly re-design my bedroom!!!  It isn't totally sorted but it is working really well.  Observation in this area indicated that having all the resources around the edge of a long, thin room was making the room thinner and minimising what could be achieved within the left-over space.  In the future the room could be split into two decent sized rooms but this isn't wanted or needed at present.  There was also a need for a space in the house in which to exercise.  Putting all these needs together I evaluated that using the furniture to make a border down the middle of the room (above) could create more usable space whilst splitting the room into two distinct zones: the dressing/clothes area (to the right) and the exercise/study area.

The study/exercise area needs work but it is a start and the implementation of these changes and the creation of a separate dressing area has resulted in a less messy space and has also led to de-cluttering of clothes and bedding.  It seems that zoning has a knock-on effect in that it makes it easier to sort, de-clutter and cyclically makes it easier to maintain. Result!!  This design is a great example of using the OBREDIM permaculture design process.  All this sorting and tidying in one area also had a ripple effect across the whole of the house.

Above there is a new shelf put into the living room for the kids new craze of loom-banding.

Another thing in the house which is in the process of being redeveloped and redesigned after major building work is the kitchen (read about the renovation here.)  This has been a long and drawn out process because resources meant that we could pay for the building changes but couldn't afford to pay for the decorating or new kitchen design.

This has meant that progress has been slow. However this has allowed time to see how the space is used by family and visitors to the house. 

Surveying and analysing in this way has been productive and enlightening and has meant that the design for the kitchen has been re-evaluated and re-designed at least 3 times over the last year.

The implementing of the new design is going to take a while and there is more evaluating that needs to take place but one thing I have been able to do is work out a new way to not waste food.  I have designed a simple cataloguing system for the fridge and freezer using magnetic tape.

It started (as can be seen above in the bottom half of the picture above ) by just using whiteboard markers. They are not easy to wipe off and made the system awkward.  Magnetic tape may also end up having cons as well but is working so far.  The freezer (above) is divided into drawers so people know where the various foods are.  This also means that energy use is lessened because the freezer doesn't need to be opened for as long whilst someone tries to find the right food.

The fridge has a space for the food actually in the fridge as well as a consider buying section.  The space for the magnets which signal the food stuffs which have been used but don't need re-stocking as yet, are at the bottom of the freezer door. Anyway progress is being made using various design techniques and I am very happy with results.

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