I did a quick tip video a couple of weeks ago discussing one of the key principles in organizing: sorting like items with like items. Another key principle in organizing is to assign a home…and that’s what today’s quick tip video is going to demonstrate for you. Assigning a home is key because it makes you really think about where things should go and more importantly, where they should be returned to once they are done being used!
1. Anything within arms reach is considered prime real-estate. Put frequently used items within arms reach for convenience of retrieving AND putting things away. You don’t want to have to get out of your office chair to reach for the phone, files, records, pens and paper if these are things you use every day. In the kitchen, I recommend keeping your coffee mugs, plates, bowls glassware and silverware within arms reach in the cabinets and drawers. And in the bathroom, you’ll want to keep your facial cleansers, makeup and hairstyling products within arms reach as you are getting dressed each day. It’ all about storing your frequently used items in places that are convenient for you to get to. If they are inconvenient to get to, chances are they’ll be even more inconvenient to put away and then guess what? A scary pile of miscellaneous items will start piling up on your counters, vanities and desktops! NO!!!!!
2. Heavy items should be stored down low. For your safety and the health of your back, you want to put heavy items lower on shelves (maybe not so low that you strain your back when lifting an item). The last thing you want is a big ole, heavy food processor to land on your head as you’re pulling it off the top shelf in the pantry, or trying to move that huge, heavy box of tools down a ladder from the top shelf in your garage or attic. Not fun and very dangerous!
3. Put less frequently used items up high (if not too heavy) or in other storage areas further away from your work areas. Again, you want to reserve your prime real estate for your frequently used items. Store those less frequently used items in other areas. For example, store out of season clothing on top shelves in the closet or under the bed. Medical supplies like bandaids and ointments may be stored in lower drawers or cabinets away from your main area. And specialty kitchen appliances and dishes can be stored on high or low shelves in kitchen and pantry.
4. Put em where you use em! You want to store items near where you use them. The kitchen is a great example to demonstrate this point. Put all of your coffee and tea making supplies next to your coffee maker; all your pots, pans, spices and cooking utensils near the stove; your glasses near the refrigerator; your bakeware and supplies near the oven; dish soaps and detergents near the sink and dishwasher. This concept works in other areas of your home or office; makeup and hairstyling products near your bathroom vanity and mirror; DVDs and CDs in or near your media equipment; printer paper near your printer and so on.
5. Store items that are used together in the same place. This is reinforcing the concept of storing like items with like items. For example in the office, keep your printer, printer paper and ink in one location. In the bathroom keep your hairstyling products, brushes, hair fasteners and blowdryers together/near one another. In the bedroom dresser keep underwear, bras and socks close by or in the same drawer since those are items you are likely to wear everyday.
Like I said, the importance of assigning a home is to get you to really think about where your items should go so you are not wasting time and energy. It’s also important to assign homes so that you know where things go and where you should return them. Haphazardly putting things away in the first available space you see just lends your space to become a cluttered and confusing mess….which of course is what we are trying to avoid, right?
Now if you want to learn more, check out a post I did last summer on how to organize your space that is chock full of information. But if that’s not enough or you need a little more advice, click on my “Contact Info” tab at the top of this page and drop me a line…or feel free to leave a comment below. Maybe I can help you find a solution.