Ask anyone, from the most to least organized person you know, and you’ll hear the same complaint: organizing a room, closet or storage area is the easy part, keeping it that way is the challenge. In Order To Succeed works with clients to develop habits, practices and systems to help. One of our go to tools is the “Housepad” App. Our Residential Technology Consulting services include instruction on how to adapt this app to keep your house running like clockwork.
Imagine everyone who lived and worked in your house knew how to do things—from the way to load the dishwasher to your preferred flower arrangements, how you like your fitted sheets folded and emergency contacts for everyone from the family doctor to the family vet? It’s possible, and Housepad is the app to do it. Never worry about having to refold clothes the nanny puts away or reorganize the pantry after your teenagers go to bed. Housepad is a simple way to make sure everyone knows how things look and work so that you save time. Share tasks, to do lists, images, and more so that everyone is accountable for keeping the household running smoothly. Housepad even tracks time for various staff. Housepad is available for iOS and Android.
Get Everyone On The Same Page
After setting up your Housepad account, invite your family members and staff to your network. The app imports directly from your contacts or allows contacts to be entered manually. The more information you enter, the more the app can do for you—we’ll get to that in a minute. You should invite:
- Members of your family
- In-House staff (nanny, housekeeper, driver, cook, assistant)
- Ancillary staff (gardener, babysitter, dog walker, seasonal help)
The app uses notifications so that you see the status of how your house is running in real time—you can even be notified when tasks are completed.
Expect The Best But Prepare For The Worst
One of the first things to set up in Housepad are your emergency contacts – you can add emergency info for every member of your family, including your vet info, and staff. Housepad excels here – clicking the “phone” icon will immediately call the doctor whereas clicking the address immediately starts navigating to the doctor’s office. You can include notes about medication refills and appointments right in the contacts, too, so that you have everything at your fingertips. This function is great for households with children in the care of others.
The Look Book
Once your app is up and running, it’s time to start setting up the rooms in your look book. Each room, or area, is given a section for pictures and notes to show what it should look like. Those using the app see an overview and specifics. Rather than just having “sitting room” you can also include “sitting room bookcase” to show where to place various ephemera during the holidays versus in summer.
Here are some areas you shouldn’t forget:
- Bar—how is glassware stocked? Which bottles remain out?
- Wine cellar
- Linen closet—how are items folded and how are they arranged?
- Floral arrangements by room
- Holiday decorations
Include how you like furniture arranged, pillows and throws placed, and the table set – every bit helps. Just because the category is called “rooms” doesn’t mean you have to leave it there. Super organized pantry? Keep pictures of it. Like your fridge a certain way? Do the same. And for those of us who understand: there is nothing wrong with including a picture of a properly loaded dishwasher.
Getting Things Done
Housepad has a simplistic, non-cluttered board system for posting tasks. This can serve as a reminder of regular tasks or a place to post new things to be done. Items can be pushed through to appropriate family members and staff immediately or posted to the board for them to see when they sign in.
One Time Reminders
Having guests and need the guest bathroom and bedroom stocked with linens and creature comforts? You can post the request, including a little book of Sudoku or other small treat to be picked up for your Aunt Jane, who loves a good puzzle before sleep.
Need something taken to the cleaner? Post and push it including a picture of where you left it hanging so that there’s no confusion.
Guests coming for dinner and there’s a food allergy? Include this when sending staff out to shop in preparation for the meal.
Need something done every day? Keep a list of tasks with a picture that will remind members in your home network to do it. This works for family and staff—from walking the dog to putting shoes away.
Housepad allows multiple residences so that your place in the city and the one in the Hamptons are kept up to date with family and staff and you don’t have to keep separate apps, lists, or binders running.
Tips For Using Housepad
An app is what you make of it—even the best home apps, like Housepad – so here are some ways to make the best out of incorporating Housepad into your life:
- Once a month sit down and look at what is coming up in the future and start entering information into housepad.
- Any time you change a room, update or add furniture, or make other modifications, be sure to take new pictures.
- Set up a time to meet with staff members and teach them how to use the app and explain that you will expect them to check and stay up to date in the app.
- New staff? Staff who have moved? New doctor? Keep contacts up to date in your phone and be sure to get emergency info from new staff.
In Order To Succeed® is here to help you set up, load and use Housepad. Keep your expectations in one place and give yourself the luxury of time, you won’t regret it!