Years ago, I commuted to work by car and had a company paid parking spot in a privately owned parking facility across the street. It wasn’t a reserved spot but rather one of those “come-and-go” spots meaning I could leave and come back as many times as necessary throughout the day. One day, I left and came back on two separate occasions and each time parked in a different parking stall. At the end of the day when I left the office and walked to the parking garage, I couldn’t find my car. I couldn’t remember where I had parked it. Not the stall, not even the floor. In the end, after mulling around the garage for 25 minutes, I started at the top, eight floors up, and systematically walk done until I eventually found the car on level 2.
This experience taught me an important life lesson. From that day forward, I always parked my car in the same spot. I would purposely choose a location at the very top of the parking garage so that even if I had to “come-and-go” it would most likely be vacant when I returned. And, since that day, I have applied the same reasoning to everything from my bike tools to my socks. If everything has a place, the same place, nothing gets lost or misplaced. The trick is to always, I mean always, put things back in its place.
Bike maintenance and building projects run smoothly these days. All of the tools and miscellaneous parts have a place. And, even though this is a shared space. each of us is disciplined enough to put items back in their place. Perhaps that is the reason. It is shared. If I was the only one using the shop, I would know where everything was because I would be the last one to have used it. It may take me longer to find it but I would find it. Whereas if someone else put the item down, I would have no idea where to look. I would look where I might put it but that might be completely out for character for someone else.
The point is find a place for everything, always put it back there and you will never misplace it again.