'A Place For Everything, And Everything In Its Place'

janenJune 11, 2006

How LONG have we all heard this!!! But, the trick is to create a PLACE for everything - a HOME for everything. I have a lot of clutter and cannot find things when I am ready to do a project. Many times I have to just go and buy another item because I cannot find the one I know I already have. Lot of wasted time here, and money. I thought a lot about all the items that I can ALWAYS find - they all have a home! When I am finished with these items, they go back to their home without much thinking. Now, I just have to do this for everything. It has to be a logical place. All LIKE items together, etc. I think a lot of clutter can be avoided if, in an instant, we can put things away in an easy to find location. This is my mission - find a GOOD home for everything! What do you think?

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I agree absolutely! If an item has a home, it will go back when I'm done with it. I run into trouble when I have too many of one item, such as glassware. It has a home, but that home is bursting at the seams (and we do actually use the stuff we have when we entertain, so it's not really excess). I either need to find a spillover spot, or shift cabinets around.

My other problem area is kid's stuff, like magically multiplying Legos or winter snow gear (we don't have a mud room) or new stuff that comes into the house due to a birthday or holiday.

Finding a place for everything is harder than it sounds!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 10:29AM
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Flylady's statement of "You can't organize clutter. You can only get rid of it." really helped me. Once I realized I was moving a pile of something all over the place, I figured out it was clutter.

Just like with the glassware, when you have too many of something it is difficult to find a home. I think craft and project type materials are especially hard to declutter. It also took me numerous times to really get the stuff down to where I could locate items.

With my sewing/quilting stuff I got rid of 3/4 of the fabric. I had moved it, moved it and moved it some more. Now, I can acutally find what I need.

The first step for so many of us really is getting the items which are taking up space out of our homes. Then those "homes" for items we want and need can be utilized effectively.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 4:01PM
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Great mantra -- words to live by! If only all members of a household would follow through on the "putting it back" part.

I have a space for shoes in our mudroom. They should be there or in the bedroom. When the kids say "I can't find my sneakers!" (or fill in the blank) my reply is if it they are not where they belong then I can't help you.

Drives me crazy to open the kitchen drawer for scotch tape and it isn't there.

C'est la vie.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 9:26AM
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I got a roll of tape and a nice pair of scissors, wrote on both MOM in big letters and put them in a kichen drawer. As was inevitable, I went to get the scissors and they were GONE. Found them in middle daughter's room and when I confronted her, she said with a straight face, "I thought they said WOW."

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 10:12AM
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I found that often time the stuff I was moving around wasn't the clutter--it was out and about because I *used* it. The stuff that was sitting quietly, undisturbed, in the cabinets or closets or shelves--THAT was the clutter. It was taking up the storage space that the stuff-in--use should have been able to "go home" to. I call that stuff "squatters."

I once tackled this by systematically looking at everything that was "out and about," and saying, "where *should* I keep this? Where would I look, to find it? Where do I use it?" Then, I'd go look at what was in that spot--what was in that drawer, or on that shelf, etc. And say, "should I keep it? If so, where should *it* go?" If it moved, I did the same exercise--sometimes I shifted stuff 5 times until I got to the thing I could safely ditch (but there was *always* something I could safely ditch)

It can b e a hard task, and a bit of a puzzle, to find everything a home. But it is a VERY valuable step, and I applaud you for realizing the importance of that FIRST part of the phrase.

Maura63, we found when we were kids that, if we couldn't find something after looking high and low, it was probably put away. It got so that when we asked Mom, "have you seen my shoes?" she'd say, "have you looked where they belong?" Bingo--there they'd be!

I took care of the tape & scissors thing by getting my kids their own. They leave mine alone. Of course, I have to go into the bedroom to get them, but I can always find them, at least.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 11:05AM
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The dreaded scissors - no matter how many pairs of scissors I purchased for everyone in the family, mine were always missing. Now I realize how frustrated my own mother must have been with me. I borrowed hers all the time. Oops! It became a common thing when I grew up - if you couldn't find something, it was probably in my room. I was frequently guilty.

I accidently established a purge system many years ago. Had a large closet upstairs and would stash unused items in it. A few years later, I realized that NOTHING was ever used from that closet so I completely cleaned it out and either donated or tossed it all. Then I started over.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 8:58AM
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Lisa, what a great organizing tip, to put unused items in one accessible spot only to find out these items would never be needed anyways. And then getting rid of it all! And starting over again, so the process to weed out the unused items continues.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 10:47AM
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I agree. i'm still working on finding those 'homes' but they definitely make a difference. Last weekend I cut one of those over-the-door shoe pocket things down to fit the short and narrow door on the closet in my living room, and mounted it to the door with screw hooks. suddenly I had a home for my shoes that made sense! I do not usually wear my shoes in the house, so keeping them in my bedroom upstairs is impractical, and instead the shoes I wear regularly were all on the floor in the living room (neatly arranged but taking up valuable space). NOW I think I can use that space that held the shoes for some type of chest with drawers that can later serve as a tv-stand. Which will create a space for mail and other papers, and solve another 'no good home' problem! And I'm hoping that moving the tv there will create a furniture arrangement that gives me space for a coffee table or side table, which will help with my tendency to put stuff like the remotes on the couch.

Another lightbulb went off when I saw that my fiance keeps his gym clothes and t-shirts in a 3 drawer plastic wheeled cart in his closet. I bought one and voila, suddenly there is space in the dresser drawers for my summer clothes.

not only has finding a 'place' for things decreased visual clutter, it has had a domino effect to help with other clutter issues!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 7:45PM
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This was my goal last summer, and I haven't worked on it since. So, now that I'm not teaching anymore, it's back to work!

There are a few things that will always be out, and I've accepted it.

As for the scissors, everyone in this house now knows I get very mad if my kitchen scissors are not in the kitchen!!! The last time they disappeared I started accusing everyone, only to find them in another spot where I'D placed them. Oops! (Tail between legs.)

LOL on the MOM being WOW. Of course, we moms ARE wow, right????


    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 1:25AM
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TalleySue you really have pointed out the flaw in my organizing--the stuff that stays neat isn't the stuff that is used. Organize for usage is an interesting idea. thanx

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 3:51PM
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As far as scissors go...here was my solution. I literally attached them with a cord to the drawer handle. Whatever I needed to cut, I just brought the mountain to Mohammed. Before that, I even tried putting a small lock on the kitchen drawer but that ended up being a pain because I kept misplacing the key! And as far as scotch tape. The kids won out on that one. I would just buy about 45 of them.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 10:11AM
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