With repetition from me from time to time I hope that you are starting to get the catch phrase “Everything needs a home” stuck in your head. It is the foundation for being organized. If everything has a home then it is quick and easy to tidy-up. There is an expectation for family members to return things to the assigned home.
One of the tips that we give clients when we work with them to organize and assign homes is to ask themselves these questions……
- What else is like this item?
- Where am I likely to want to use this item?
- How often will I use this item?
- How easy does it have to be to retrieve this item from its home?
and perhaps most important…..
- Where would I think to look for this item?
There really isn’t a right or a wrong home for items. It is all about your style, the way you think and the way your family works.
Here are a few examples of things that I have given a home to at my house. This way of thinking works for me. How about you?
My Reading glasses
I occasionally wear contacts and when I do, then I also need reading glasses. I don’t use them all the time, but when I need them I want to be able to easily lay my hands on them.
This is a photo of the medicine cabinet in my bathroom.
I have 3 separate containers for my make-up. #1 for face items, #2 for eye items, #3 for cheeks and lips. I lift each one out as needed. I have in each container only the things I use regularly. No need to root around in seldom used items to lay my hands on what I need each day.
Makes sense to me to put my reading glasses and my extra contacts in container #2 – with the other eye items.
The “what the heck is this?” items
From time to time I find stuff around the house that I have no idea what it is, but it crosses my mind that it might be important so I better keep it. I have a drawer in my kitchen that I call the “what not” drawer. It is for the things that don’t really have a category elsewhere. Stuff that could be important. Stuff that definitely is important and that I want to keep handy. This isn’t the drawer where I keep pens, pads, markers, clips etc. Those things are in a different spot. You’ll see in the photo that there are a few business cards, various papers and some “what the heck” items. This is a central spot in my house where I have the peace of mind to know that important/obscure items have a safe home.
It is important to go through this drawer from time to time and weed it out. The “what not drawer” is a great place to give odd items a home.
One of the questions to consider when it comes to assigning a home is “where would I use this item?”
If I am going to do my nails, I’m likely to do that while I’m sitting on the couch watching TV. The logical place for my nail care items then is the drawer in the coffee table.
If I’m going to do some stretches or physio exercises while I’m on the main floor of our house then I’m likely to do that in the living room and I will want to use my yoga mat. Best to keep it handy, so I slide it under the sofa when it isn’t in use. It is always quick and easy to access when I need it.
It is slid out and visible for the photo, but day to day I slide it back in far enough so it is just out of sight.
I take the challenge of working smarter not harder seriously. When Murray and I cook we try to make it a habit to double up on a recipe whenever we can. That gives us an extra meal to put in the freezer for another time. I regularly use a couple larger sized pots, but I don’t have room for them in the prime real estate of my kitchen. I give them a home here in this basket so they are easy to access, but out of the way when not in use.
When we are working with clients to set-up filing systems we remind them that creating file names is a personal thing. There isn’t right or wrong options. It is all about thinking ahead to retrieval. What would you think to look under?
Don’t worry about creating fancy names or using the right name. Assign a label to the file that makes sense to you!
And in closing, a fun and functional way to kick your desk area up a notch!
This idea is from Gladys who shared it with me after an earlier blog posting on small items with big impact
Gladys says –
One day I came across this plaster pillar base at my favourite place to find things I didn’t know I needed. You guessed it…the MCC Thrift Shop!
I brought it home because I loved the look and feel but it took a few days to discover it’s purpose. I thought for a brief moment it was destined for the thrift shop once again…but inspiration struck!
My computer is my place to be creative so the atmosphere I create at my desk is very important. I have a very small office and every inch counts, every item has to be useful and if it’s pleasing to look at , that’s a bonus! After years of stack ing books to elevate my monitor so it was at the right height for me my new found piece of architecture did the job nicely. (I just couldn’t bring myself to buy the tech store plastic , wood, or metal version. )
It is possible to have something that looks nice, has purpose, doesn’t cost much, and functions well.
Jump in on the comments below and share some ways that you have created great homes for your stuff. We always love to hear from you!!
If you need some help creating calm out of chaos we’d love to come on board to give you some practical help! Contact us today.
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If you are a mom, then enter the contest yourself OR if you know a deserving mom then enter her name in our contest. A winner will be chosen, at random, at the end of the week and the name of the lucky mom will be announced on May 14th. Click here or the image below to enter