A Place For Everything and Everything In Its Place
This post is not about “tips and tricks” about how or where to store your things. Instead, I will bring you a simple but highly overlooked truth.
Do you need it out there?
We all need certain things handy. I hear it all the time – “Oh, this is out here because we use it all the time, and we need it handy.”
Let’s consider this for a moment.
If you have already purged everything that does not serve your life anymore, what you keep then is something you or your household members need.
But if we apply the same reasoning that “it’s out there because we use it all the time,” everything you own would be “out here.”
Can you visualize the chaos?
You’d be surprised at the unused or underutilized space at home. And usually, the reasoning behind it goes: “It needs to be out here because we use it all the time.” So the issue might not even be a lack of storage space – quite the contrary!
This “everything out there” mentality reminds me of what Joshua Becker (from BecomingMinimalist.com) calls the “convenience fallacy.” On his blog, he wrote:
“By leaving these things out in the open, we think we’re saving time when we need them, and we think we’re simplifying our lives, but the result is anything but. I call this the “convenience fallacy.” And it’s a huge source of the visual clutter in our homes.”
“Sure, by leaving them out, you may save a couple of seconds when you want to grab one of them. But for the other 99.9 percent of the time, they’re sitting out, where they create a visual distraction, get in the way, add to the disorganization of our spaces, and attract more clutter.”
A place for everything and everything in its place.
To get and remain organized, you need to have a place for each and every item in your home. Also, after using it, you must return everything where it belongs. Do this immediately and consistently; soon enough, it becomes a habit.
Even when you start a project or process that you can’t finish immediately, get in the habit of putting things back at the end of the day. You see, life happens. And many times, despite our best intentions to finish the next day what we started, we don’t.
And it might not happen that week or even that month (sounds familiar?). There will be supplies, tools, equipment, and materials in odd places – anywhere but where these things should go. And stuff remains wherever for months and years while new, incomplete projects come into the picture.
A few things left out of place due to frequent use will soon justify all other things we use often left out of place. And eventually, only very few things are in their rightful place in the home. By then, the chaos around the house affects your productivity, joy, sleep, and life. What’s worse, your mind might not be getting what your body and intuition clearly perceive.
And it doesn’t matter how well organized the home gets to be at a particular moment. When everyday habits don’t support that order, the mess will return (and with a vengeance).
Continued effort is essential.
The idea behind organizing is to make life easier. Hence, in developing organizing systems, item accessibility and frequency of use must be considered.
However, that does not mean that a well-organized place with great systems does not require any effort. There must be a balance between the convenience of having an organized home, the ease of using our belongings, and the effort that maintains order in the house.
Your belongings might be easier to find once everything is organized (even labeled). Still, everything needs to return where they belong every time items are used. After all, that’s key to finding those things again quickly.
Many people struggle to understand their disorganization at home. Some buy containers or storage solutions. Others go after the latest trend in organizing and trying various things.
Unfortunately, the result is usually less than satisfactory or doesn’t last. This happens when the basics of home organizing are overlooked. And no fad, gimmick, or container will ever help. The truth is that three basic steps are necessary for the organization to stick.
- Let go of all the excess in your life (clutter)
- Designate a proper, permanent place for every item you own
- Place everything back where it belongs after each use.
Those three steps are fundamental to maintaining an organized space.
Note that the first point is letting go of the clutter. You’ll inevitably have to face your clutter issue while designating a place for everything you own. Clutter must go away, and you’ll have to make critical decisions.
It’s the only way to open up the space needed to store what you intentionally decide to keep.
Let’s help with that initial push.
If your home has never been in top shape, you might need help with that initial organizing effort. The initial organizing of the house can be a profoundly confusing process for many people. If that is your case and you don’t know where to start, do not hesitate to seek help. We can assist you with the initial organizing but, most importantly, help you develop the systems and methods to keep your home space in great shape. Let’s chat!