Are you a Downton Abbey fan? I must admit, I’m a sucker for a good British period drama. There’s something about the architecture, the politics, the fashion, the formalities, the romance, and… the organizing.
Yes, you read that right! Although discreet, there are organizing, time management, and productivity themes all throughout the ever-popular television show. Whether you are an avid Downton fan, a fan in passing, or anywhere in between, here are three ways that watching Downton Abbey helps you get organized:
1) Everyone has a job to do.
The Earl of Grantham, Robert, takes care of estate business. The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet, (my personal fave) keeps everyone in line. Daisy, the Scullery maid, is Mrs. Patmore’s right hand in the kitchen.
Everyone – from oldest to youngest and from most powerful family member to least powerful staff member – has a job to do, and every job is important in order for the house to run properly.
The Organizing Lesson? Most of us don’t own houses as immense as Downton, but no matter what the size, when it comes to keeping a tidy household, you need help. It’s important to ask for assistance and expect it, where needed. Clear communication and checklists are key; it’s essential that every person understands their responsibility, what is expected of them, and any associated deadlines.
2) Everything has a “home.”
Appearance is of the utmost importance at Downton Abbey. Dinner dresses, silver, vases, books, and even gossip – all have an appropriate place to which they belong… and loathe the day they are ever out of that place!
The Organizing Lesson? Even if your “abbey” isn’t nearly as large or as “fine a specimen” as Downton, you can still utilize this principle to get and stay organized. Using your organizing personality to establish your systems for house and home, including where and how things should be stored, is vitally important to making this idea work well for you.
3) Use a simple labeling system.
Ring, Ring! A staff member is needed at the front door… in the saloon… in the small study… in the drawing room. The servant’s bell-call system was, no doubt, a cutting-edge organizing and project management system “back in the day.”
With the bell-call system, the family didn’t have to spend time looking for or summoning staff from somewhere in a vast house. Additionally, the bell-call system made it very clear where staff was needed, and in turn, allowed the Butler or Housekeeper to quickly delegate duties.
The Organizing Lesson? While the upstairs/downstairs concept is foreign to most of us nowadays, the long-gone bell-call system still illustrates the power of labeling and organizing. The beauty of labeling is that it doesn’t have to be complicated – the simpler, the better, especially where groups or families are concerned. When everyone knows what’s what or what’s where, it’s a win-win situation.
There you have it – the three ways that watching Downton Abbey helps you get organized. (Watching it will never be the same now!) Have you noticed any other hidden organizing, time management, or productivity themes in the show?