Friday, August 9, 2013

Do Ladies Dig It? - Search Don't Sort - Laundry Vol2

No underwear, so don't zoom in looking for any

Cutlery Search Don't Sort Update

This post furthers our series in Be Like Gmail - Search Don't Sort. The original posting described saving time by dumping your dishwasher cutlery basket directly into the cutlery drawer. The idea is, instead of spending time sorting something, you don't sort at all and just search for individual items from the collection as needed.

There were some great comments (mostly on facebook) that brought out some disadvantages of this approach, some of the highlights:
  1. "Sorting is faster, especially if you need to grab multiples"
  2. Some commenters had dishwasher baskets with individual slots for cutlery, this presents the opportunity to pre-sort the cutlery in the dishwasher (since you have to place each individual item into a slot anyways) with no marginal effort. Pre-sorting allows you be sorted in the cutlery drawer with no marginal effort.
  3. "you are optimising the wrong thing! You should have one type of utensil only -- a spork! then sorting and searching are both O(1)
These are excellent points. There is also the matter of change management, and bringing various stakeholders into any change. Suffice to say, in my home my wife and I are no longer following the cutlery Gmail approach.

An Outrageous Comment

The craziest comment from a FindingOptimal reader was this one:
 I do this with my clothes...jeans, dress pants, tshirts, etc...all in one pile...saves a great deal of time. chicks dig it too

Isn't laundry another great candidate for search-don't-sort? It takes considerable time to arrange clothes in a dresser or hang them up. Many of us don't have stringent dress-codes at work, so a minor increase in wrinkles shouldn't cause major problems and, isn't floor space in your bedroom just wasted anyways?

FindingOptimal will research this approach and advise.

Update - 2013-08-12

Don't try this at home.

1 comment:

  1. I feel that not sorting things will make it more difficult later. I agree, that sporks will solve the cutlery issue, but if I need a teaspoon, then a serving spoon, then a knife and fork, it could take more time to fumble around in the drawer than it would to sort it to start with. With laundry, if you wear the same outfit every day, then why not just put them on straight out of the basket rather than bothering to put them away. However, if you mix and match, then it is easier to know where your favourite jeans are by looking in the 'jeans' drawer than by searching through every drawer to find them.