Continuing this month’s series about organization, let’s look at ways to organize your living space. (Similar principles can be used in offices, workshops, etc.)
The core principle is always “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” The corollary principle is, “Put everything where it belongs when you finish with it.”
Now, that’s easier said than done. What if you have more things than you have places? That’s a pretty common occurrence nowadays. You just have more stuff than fits in the space available. The way to deal with this problem is not to get more space. Renting a storage shed or even buying a bigger house just moves the project down the road. The only way to solve the problem is to get rid of the extra stuff. And, yes, it’s very likely that at least some of the stuff is extra. Are you holding on to files and paperwork that you no longer need? Do you have every art project your kid ever made? Do you have multiples of the same kitchen utensil? Or clothes that you no longer wear? Supplies for a hobby you abandoned years ago? Books you will never read (again)? If you answered yes to any of those questions, there is space waiting for you to claim it.
I won’t spend a lot of time hear explaining how to declutter your home. I wrote a whole book about it! You can order it here . But all decluttering works on three steps:
Once your belongings are at a manageable level, you can start putting them away. that’s where the corollary principle comes in. Things belong where it’s easy to get them and easy to put them away. If the assigned space for something you use almost every day is hard to reach, it’s never going back there. it will live on the counter, table, floor, wherever. Keep the things you use regularly in the most accessible spots. Things you use less often (trays for parties, specialized tools, seasonal decorations, etc.) can be in less accessible spaces. As a note, if you keep making excuses for why you don’t want to get the decorations down or pull the tool out, you may want to consider whether or not you need to keep it.
Don’t be afraid to try out a few different placements for things until you find the one that works best.
Remember: the goal is to find a place where everything belongs and return it to that space EVERY TIME YOU USE IT. Do that, and your space will be — and — remain organized.