Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Birds of a feather should be stored together

One of the most fundamental organizing rules (and there aren't very many of these) is keep like items together. I cannot stress enough how important this is, and how much easier it is to find things if you keep everything that is similar together in one place (provided you are able to remember where that one place is, of course). 
If you are not already doing this, start small and see what a difference it makes. Put all of your hair ties in one dish in your bathroom or bedroom. Nest all of your mixing bowls and keep them on one shelf. Find all the places you have batteries stashed around your house and put them together in one bag or box in a closet or drawer. The next time your reading lamp burns out its bulb, you'll know exactly where to find the appropriate replacement, since it has been stored along with the rest of the back-up bulbs. (I keep mine in an upright bag under the kitchen sink.) 

Keeping like items together makes finding things easier and saves you time, since if there is only one place to look for spatulas, if there aren't any in that spot, it means you need to do some dishes, not that you need to keep looking in every drawer until you stumble across one. It also saves time when you are putting things away, since the decision of where to put things has already been made. It takes the guess work out of cleaning up, since there is only one place CDs belong and only one home for loose change. 

There are only a couple of exceptions to the keep like things together rule. Scissors, I find, come in handy in nearly every room of the house, so I keep a pair in my kitchen, one on my desk top and one in my top desk drawer, a pair in the bathroom drawer and another in my bedside table. Tissue boxes and trash cans should have homes in nearly every room as well. I like to keep an emory board in my bathroom drawer, purse, desk drawer and bedside table drawer.

Creative Commons photo posted to flickr by visulogik

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