Organization is all about logic. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a nice mantra, but if you haven’t given any thought to where you put things, you can waste time finding items and putting them back when you’re done using them. These 5 basic principles will help ensure your home is tidy and easy to take care of.
The 5 Principles
- The Forever Home: Just like the kittens your neighbor tried to foist on you, everything you own should have a forever home. If they don’t have a place to live, how can you put them away? They just sit around becoming clutter. Find a place to put it! What belongings of yours need forever homes?
- The Essentials: Now, about that place – how often you use it should dictate where it lives. Put items you use a lot where you can find and access them easily. You don’t want to have to wade through off season sports equipment to get to your socks. Keep the essential items up front where you can find them and put them away easily. What are your essential items?
- One Step Accessibility: Speaking of “easy to put away,” you don’t want to have to pull out a bunch of pots and pans in order to get that one frying pan you use daily. If you use it every day, make sure you can access it with one movement.If it’s easy to put away, then you will probably do that, and not leave it on the counter to become clutter. Let the waffle iron live at the back of the cabinet behind your As-Seen-on-TV gadget collection – unless you make waffles every day, in which case I’ll be over tomorrow. What items do you use often that you have to unearth from an inconvenient place?
- Organization for the Task: When it comes to assigning forever homes, consider what you use the item for, and what other items you use for that particular task. Keeping all those items together will help you efficiently perform the task. This make it easy to put the items away afterwards. In other words, keep the doggie shampoo and conditioner, an old towel, the spray attachment for the hose and a bottle of Valium all in the same place. What items could you collect together for a task?
- Accrued Benefits: This is all about saving time and combining tasks. If you can perform a task once and reap the benefits multiple times, you’ll find yourself ahead of the game. For example, when I bring home vegetables, I clean and prepare all of them at once. Then I store them in a vegetable bin in my fridge. That way, when it comes time to cook, I can just reach in the bin for a handful of broccoli florets or asparagus spears. I don’t have to bring out the knives, scissors, vegetable wash or brush every time I make dinner. How can you use accrued benefits to make your tasks more organized and efficient?
Go Forth and Organize!
Consider these basic principles when you’re organizing your home and it will stay organized more effortlessly. I explore these ideas and more in my home organization course, The Home in Your Head. I open up enrollment several times a year. The course is open right now, but will close at the end of this week (on 4/7/17)! Sign up here.