When consulting in a luxury home with staff and vendor management, it's not all crystal and chocolates. Often it is about real life solutions for busy people leading real lives. When working in households with young children sometimes the solutions we provide are simple but save the parents many hours of headaches and frustrations. On one occasion we were working in a house with five children ranging in ages from 6 to 14 years old...and at the end of the consultation the mom said "I don't know what you can do about the game closet, but it drives me crazy! I try and carve out some time to play a board game with my children after a busy week, and pieces are missing, the game closet is a mess and the children never put anything back! Then they want us to purchase another replacement because they have lost all the pieces...can you help with this?"
Of course we can! Setting up systems and practices for good management all start with proper organization, so that is where we began. We emptied out all the board games, created a proper inventory of all the games in the closet. Then we painstakingly went through each game and sorted all the pieces back into their proper boxes, and noted which games needed replacement pieces. Then we hunted on the web on replacement sites, manufacturer sites, and speciality sites for all the missing pieces for each...and only recommended repurchasing games where the pieces were impossible to replace.
Then our procedure solutions came into play: we created a "check out system" with the mom's encouragement, (she was thrilled we created a system to teach responsibility to the young children) by laminating a large sheet on the inside of the closet door where the children could "check out a game" and write their name with a dry erase marker. We put laminated cards in each of the games to detail what and how many of each piece were to return to the box after playing. That way it was the responsibility of the child to count all the pieces to the game before returning it to the box. Then with the games for the young children, we suggested unstacking them because that is why the children were not returning them to the closet properly because it was too hard to stack them back neatly. We suggested instead organizing the games like a bookshelf where each were accessible without disturbing the others. This worked like a charm!
All of these new procedures were then outlined in the "Toy Room Management" manual for the nannies to help implement these rules and procedures...and there were no more missing pieces for the parents to fret over! If you would like assistance setting up similar organizational strategies for young children that become easy to follow policies and procedures at your residence, please contact Luxury Lifestyle Logistics today to schedule a complementary consultation.
(Setting up board games like books on a shelf instead of on top of each other makes it easier for young children to access them without pulling everything out of the closet!)