And, not just because they prevent cars from getting dinged…
I was at Target the other day and parked right next to the area where you put your shopping cart after you load your car with your purchases. There was a woman parked right next to me, so she was 1 parking space away from the cart area. She loaded the back of her car with her purchases and then proceeded to push her cart between her car, my car, and the 2 cars in front of ours. It would have taken her the same amount of time to walk her cart to the area where the carts are stored as it did for her to walk her cart to the area in front of all 4 cars.
I did nothing, which didn’t feel right. When I asked friends what they would have done, I got a myriad of answers, such as take the high road and move the cart, she wasn’t thinking, would have done what you did, should have said something to her. But, it did get me thinking why shopping carts have homes in parking lots and how that relates to organizing.
We all know the obvious answers – they are preventing other cars from getting dinged and making it easier for the employees to bring all the carts back into the store. From a Professional Organizer’s point of view, I like to keep everything that is the same in one or two areas, whether it is in my home, my office, or my car. I only have to remember one or two places to look for what I need. When I don’t “assign a home” to an item, it gets lost, and I end up buying the same item over and over again. Besides wasting time looking for something and not being able to find it, I’ve now spent more money on something I already have.
It is the same for the shopping carts. It is more efficient for the employees to get the carts from their designated areas (think time management and productivity) and bring them back to the stores for others to use. It is also a money-saver for the store, since they won’t have to replace lost or missing carts.
This story illustrates why “assigning a home” is so important. Keeping like with like makes it easier to find things, makes you more productive, saves you money, and gives you the freedom to do those activities you enjoy doing vs. having to go out and waste time purchasing the same item again.
As for me, the next time I see this, I am going to take the high road and move the cart myself to where it should go. It’ll make me feel better, it’ll prevent other cars from being dinged, and maybe it’ll be a subtle reminder to person whose cart I am moving to do the same. 🙂
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BB’s Clutter Solutions is located in Cherry Hill, NJ and serves New Jersey (north and south), Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs, and New York City.