Organisation is half the battle. But what about the other half? Many people spend huge amounts of time trying to find things that at some time in the past they’ve put away somewhere. There’s now an app that can help: “AppmyBox”. We’ve taken a closer look at the organiser system that will be on display at Ambiente 2015.
Tidying up, clearing out, keeping things in order, creating a system for the workplace and wardrobe – all this effort can sometimes prevent us from enjoying our lives. Where are those boots from last winter? Why does the accountant always ask for tax documents that are tucked away in some long-forgotten folder? To be honest, these sorts of situations are familiar to all of us.
It’s no wonder that home organisation consultants are in high demand. On the TV decluttering teams and interior designers give a helping hand, Internet forums offer valuable tips for organising everyday life and in the USA the number of “professional organizers” is booming. Actually there are various tips and tricks you can use to help sort out the domestic chaos, particularly when it comes to storing things away. For instance, the clothes hanger system: At the start of the season you hang your clothes incorrectly in the wardrobe, i.e. with the end of the hanger pointing forward instead of backward. Anything you wear, you then put back in the wardrobe hung correctly. At the end of the season you can check the hangers to see which items of clothing haven’t been worn and can be cleared out. This sort of system can also be used with t-shirts, pullovers and trousers folded away in drawers.
Anything that isn’t thrown out ends up in a box, e.g. things you may actually need at some point or things you simply can’t part with. And this box system is the key to how you can now use digital technology to bring order to your possessions. The order-loving Swiss have created an ingenious app for iOS and Android called AppmyBox, which you can use to archive and subsequently retrieve all sorts of stored items. “Our storage boxes are provided with a QR code that can be scanned with this app,” explains Daniela Brunner from Swiss house & storage specialist Rotho. “The things that are physically put in the boxes are archived in the app. This means that by scanning the QR code on the box, you can find out what’s in it. If you’re looking for something specific, you can search in the app for the item and find out which box it’s stored in. This saves time searching and ensures that nothing gets lost or forgotten.”Apart from storing winter or summer clothes in the cellar or attic, the app is also extremely useful for things that require systematic storage, as marketing expert Brunner explains: “You can keep the family medicine cabinet up-to-date by entering the expiry date in the app. For collectors, too, the app is certainly helpful – and for handicraft enthusiasts who want to keep their tools clearly organised. They can also quite simply look on the app to see what items they need to stock up on.”
But what about those untidy individuals who struggle with the latest technologies? “Since the app is very intuitive and visually oriented, it’s not just something for order-loving techies. It’s very easy to use and there is a set of FAQs that answers most questions,” says Daniela Brunner. She can quite easily imagine the app turning disorganised individuals into professional organisers. However, it’s also important to bear in mind that the app is only ever as good as the person using it. “This means that when something is physically removed from or put into a box, the same must happen on the app. Otherwise, the app doesn’t make finding things any easier.”
At the moment all Rotho storage boxes are provided with the necessary QR codes. However, the Swiss company would like to expand into the areas of food and wine. In the near future QR codes will be printed on freezer containers so that they can also be used with AppmyBox. This will make the freezing of fruit and vegetables child’s play as you can check while in the supermarket whether, for instance, there are any berries left in the freezer at home or whether you need to buy some. Wine racks will also in future be provided with QR codes so that you can keep tabs on the wine bottles stored in the cellar. Unnecessary purchases will be a thing of the past.
Here the possibility to enter the expiry date is a real boon, because it’s not just hopelessly disorganised individuals who still come across the odd tin in the garage dating back to the last millennium. The app reminds the user automatically when the date is reached. And it’s not just the expiry dates of food and medicines that can be stored, you can also enter the return date for library books, DVDs etc.
Everything at a glance – with the app this is actually possible. Unless, of course, the data is faulty. Then you’re back to the same old problem of turning the garage upside down looking for that old chessboard. Make sure the data is always updated and correct! Data entry is more convenient than rummaging through ten different boxes only to discover that it must have been put in the eleventh one – or maybe you lent it to someone years ago …