April 9, 2010

"Honey, Where's the...?"

Did you do your taxes yet? If not, stop reading this entry and go straight to your accountant's office. If your taxes are done and you're ready to tackle another part of Spring Cleaning then read on...

I'd like to share with you another basic organizing principle--one that is so basic, we don't even realize half the time that we're doing it.

Basic Organizing Principle #3:

Designate a logical and specific 'home' to put your belongings

Also known as:

“A Place for Everything and Everything in It’s Place”

First example: the toothbrush.

How many of you keep your toothbrush in the living room or the bedroom? Where do most people keep it? Right—in the bathroom—in a holder or drawer or medicine cabinet. Why do we keep it there? Because it’s logical to keep it in the place that we use it. And it’s most likely that when we need it, we’ll find it right there in the bathroom.

Whenever I give a talk, I like to tell people the story of when my hubby and I were first married. We used to go shopping for items for the house and we would bring the tape measure with us. When we came back it would be put down—we hadn’t established a home for it. After one too many, ‘Honey, have you seen the tape measure?’ We decided to designate a home for it in one of our kitchen drawers and now, nine years later, we always know where to find it…

This doesn't need to be complicated. When figuring out a 'home' for an object, ask yourself,

• Where would i use this most often (toothbrush = bathroom)

• If this object leaves the house with me often, where should I create a spot for it? (near the front door? hall closet? mudroom? On a hook/shelf/in a tote bag?

• If I don't use this item often, what is the most logical spot for it?

If you think finding a home for every itty bitty thing in your home is going to be overwhelming--don't panic! You've already made a logical home for most of your belongings (clothes in the drawers/closet, food in the fridge/pantry,and let's not forget your toothbrush...). By designating a logical and specific place to put your belongings, it will enable you to find what you need when you need it--and that's REALLY what being organized is all about.

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