Thursday, February 25, 2016

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Keys to Finding the Right Home for Homeless Items

Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
When things start to pile up around my house, it's usually for one of two reasons; either I don't have time to keep up with the influx or the things that have made their way into my house haven't yet been assigned a home. Right now, the least attractive spot in my house holds a stack of mail no one has found time to sort through and a few accumulated gifts and "not sure what to do with this" items that got unearthed when I was rearranging the back room. The mail will be easy enough -- I have a system for that.

It's those odds and ends that create clutter. But, when there's time to tackle them, there are a few guidelines that can help to keep them from getting stashed in a drawer or turning up someplace new.

Here are three keys for finding a home for all the "somethings" that gather on flat surfaces. In general, all three of these work together; it's not an either/or proposition.
  • Put it where there's room. While that may sound ridiculous to many of you, cram and jam organizers need constant reminders of this. If you have to fold it more than once, smush it, crush it or otherwise mash it into submission to fit it into your container of choice, choose another container. Not only will this save you from ruining an otherwise perfectly good item, it'll save you from endless sorting sessions as you attempt to get to the bottom of what feels like a bottomless container full of crammed and jammed, crushed and smushed, mashed-into-submission stuff.
If cram and jammers need to be reminded that there has to be sufficient storage space for that item they're holding, I know I put it somewhere organizers need to be reminded that the first tip doesn't say wherever there's room. When seeking a home for a homeless item, it's also important to...
  • Put it where you use it. Depending on the item and the space constraints in your home, this could mean in the same room where it's used, or in the drawer or cupboard closest to the exact spot where you'll use it. But, my I know I put it somewhere friends, it does not mean to drop it into any drawer that happens to have the right amount of space in it. That strategy may work in the moment, but it's guaranteed to lead to a frustrating search for the item you put in a "safe place" when you were in a hurry to clear off the counter. Plan now, save time later. 
Still not sure where it should go?
  • Put it where there are other things like it. That way, even if you don't remember where you put it, you're likely to find it when you need it.
While the old adage "a place for everything and everything in its place" can be tricky to pull off, assigning things homes that make sense based on their use and your styles can take you one step closer to making the adage come true.

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