October 16, 2011

{OrganizedHome} Day 16: A Place For Everything

after organizing my pencils/markers/pens
via Rita H Cobbs, flickr cc
[This is day 16 of a 31 day series called 31 Days to an Organized Home. If you're new here, welcome. Even if you aren't new, welcome!]

A place for everything...and everything in it's place.  I'd heard that phrase about a million and one times before I really heard the first part of it.

I thought I was just being told to put things where they belong.  But what I was missing is that everything needs a place to belong before you can put it there!

A place for everything.

  • That pen when your not writing anything.
  • Your camera cord when it's not in use.
  • The dogs' leash.
  • Unread mail.
  • Lonely socks waiting for their partner to reappear.
  • Library books waiting to be returned.
  • Your to-do list.
  • The sale flyers you're going to read when you get a chance.

Every. Little. Thing.

Want to know which items in your home still need a place to call their own? Start by looking on your kitchen counter, or your desk.  If an item is consistently hanging out where it shouldn't be, maybe it's because you haven't yet designated a spot where it should be.

Use trays, cups, baskets, labels, whatever you have.  Make a place for the things that clutter up your counters and work spaces.


A place for everything, and everything in it's place.


Are there any items around your home that don't have a designated spot yet? How can you create a place for some of those items today?

32 comments:

  1. Ugh. I need a place for bills to file away and other papers that are "action items".

    I LOVE the idea of 3 baskets in the laundry room; maybe I can tweak that a little to work for all my papers. I have a place already for papers to recycle, but perhaps a place for papers to shred and one for papers to archive.

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    1. I have 3 files...action (to do soon-bills to pay, mail to sort, RSVP, etc), pending - items waiting for a reply or to be resolved, and archive (usually to be filed or scrapbooked).

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    2. I'm crazy disorganized, but my godmother bought me a cute canvas box (with attached lid so it can't get lost). I throw bills in there (& tax stuff this time of year and checks to be cashed) along with stamps, address labels, envelopes, checkbook. Everything in one spot & it's actually something I can maintain.

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  2. I am working on this concept this month - amazing how nicely things can look when you find 'places' for everything and then put everything in its place!
    see my blog for my progress this month: permanentkisses.blogspot.com
    Thanks for the other helpful tips throughout your series!
    ~Amy Lynn

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  3. how can you do this with a 2 year old? Seriously, my 1 year old can't see anything organized without dragging it with her and throwing it around wherever she goes

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  4. I have tons of "homeless" things...I start off trying to designate a place for something, then move things around and the spot then no longer works...so then I pick another spot, and forget that is the new spot and then create another and forget about that one....and well, you get the point...and Trust me I have lots of items that are longing for a place to call HOME! HELP!!

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    1. It sounds like you are using a lot of energy thinking about where things should go. That's great! Maybe instead of moving things around, pick one system/place for things that really works for you. Then you can find one place for each little thing that is left over that will work for you, and then don't change it anymore. No more forgetting where things go anymore, and everything has it's home.

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  5. THIS is my single biggest organizational barrier/hassle! With three boys (4, 2, and 1) and a hubby, we ALWAYS have piles of stuff somewhere. I'm hoping a combo of purging and planning will help me allieviate this problem, so THANKS so much for the tips! And @Heidi, my solution so far has been to try to keep the things I want to stay organized up where the little one/s/ can't get to them, and make them easy to scoop back up/reorganize if I can't move them. Also, kids are more likely to help you clean up if you make a game out of it. :P

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  6. I swear you must have hidden cameras in my house! Everything you've been describing is my house! We have WAY too much stuff and our house has like literally ZERO storage space. Most of my kitchen appliances and things are in the bathroom cupboards because there is NO room in the kitchen! We can't even buy food for more than a week (and even then, it's hard to find somewhere to put it) because we have no space! I also have a newborn who hates being put down, making it hard to get anything done. I have GOT to do something though!! I can't take it anymore!! :P

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    1. I know your newborn isn't "new" anymore, but if your baby still does not like to be put down, try wearing your baby in a sling, so you can have hands free. My second daughter was like that, and a baby sling changed both our worlds!

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  7. To get rid of the clutter on our kitchen table we now have this really pretty almost serving platter thing in the center of our table. Our rule of thumb is you can't place any 'junk' on the table, it has to go into the bowl. You can't overstack the bowl. And every Sunday we go thru it and clean it back out. It has worked miracles for us!

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  8. Any suggestions!? Here the thing:
    I clean out my desk drawers but every single time I clean it out I get rid of everything I can but I still end up with the drawers overflowing and yet I dont htink I have clutter! Any ideas for how to organize school papers?

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    1. For school papers, get a 3" - 3 ring binder for each child and pretty it up. Contact paper, markers and kids, or print a pretty page to slip in the front view, or even color code. One color per child. Make 3 main dividers or buy three folders with pockets and holes. Get a 3 hole punch. When kids come home just have them to make three stacks of papers... To do, to return, graded. Punch holes in papers and pop in the binder. When if gets full just begin to empty, but keep in mind you need to keep all papers until you know the child no longer needs them. You can also divide by subject or date or what have you.

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  9. I have so much stuff that has no place. i wish it did, but my issue is there is no room for it. how to make room is what i have been trying to figure out this week weth no success.

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  10. So, Kelly. Where do you put everything? Mail, coupons, library books, etc. I'd love for you to get into more of the details of where things go. Just decluttered all my kitchen drawers. Yay. Making progress. Thanks for your inspiration!

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    1. I know you were looking for a response from Kelly but I thought since she hasn't replied yet, I might be able to help a little. Here are some examples of where we keep things that would tend to pile up on the kitchen counter otherwise.

      Mail: We briefly sort though it as we get it. Trash what is junk and opening what is important. Then what's left, we put in a stackable tray on the desk in our home office. I go through that tray once a week (Sunday afternoons) and take care of each piece of mail in it, meaning I pay the bills there and then file them away, I reread personal notes and then place them in a box we have designated on the top shelf of the closet for personal letters and sort through coupons to put those I may actually use in our coupon envelope that we have on the fridge.

      Library books: Or anything else that needs to leave the house goes in a bin marked "out" in our entry hall closet.

      Store/Sale Flyers: Go on top of the fridge. Replaced each week as new ones come in.

      Pens: We have a single pen and pencil cup in our office. All writing utensils go there. If that gets full it's time to get rid of some :)

      Electronic Cords: We have a decorative box in the entertainment center and one at the desk in the office to hold cords and chargers for cameras and DVD players and the like.

      The dogs' leash: Hangs in the entry hall closet

      Hope that's helpful.

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  11. Thanks Kelly for all your inspiration! I'm reading your 31 days of organization and so far, you've inspired me to re-organize and purge my own closet and drawers. I've recently gone through my three girls' closets, so if I can just convince my loving husband that it's worth the time to tackle his, we will be golden (maybe the football metaphor will help). I'm also intrigued by the idea of contact paper in my kitchen drawers and a basket to tote to the car in my coat closet. Genius!!

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  12. love the idea, but what about the things you really need and cant find...lol

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  13. I agree with some of the other posters - you should write a little more about how you do this stuff instead of just talking about the concepts. Other than that, the series is great.

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  14. I swear after reading your posts you live at my house! This post really hit home for me and got me thinking about why my counter is ALWAYS cluttered, things don't have a home. Next time I look at the stuff on my counter I will say "do you need a home" if the answer is yes I will find it one, if the answer is no I will call myself lazy and put it away. lol.

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  15. I love this idea. I spend about half my day looking for things. I have 3 different junk drawers in my small apartment and am ready to make a home for everything in them :)

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  16. As I moved from a 4 bedroom home in 2010 to a one bedroom apartment, I brought many things without knowing what to do with them..while in the house everything had its place, now most of the stuff has been homeless. Move forward September 2012 and 3/4 of all the stuff either has a place, or made it to donations, or given to family and friends. The rule has been: Do I really loved it to find it a home, or I just merely liked when I bought it. I have so much empty clean walkable space in my one bedroom that is incredible, the closets are clean and I have space available. One more thing I got rid of the file cabinet, have been scanning, shredding and garbage most of the papers. Hopefully paper free as well. Today 10 pair of good quality shoes made into a box for a church tag sale along with other items.

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  17. my daughter has tons of toys and they are taking over her room and the rest of my house that its so over welming i dont know where to start

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    1. I was getting really tired of walking over toys, etc., so I separated out some into storage boxes that I keep up on shelves. Every couple of weeks I rotate the toys, so he gets "new" toys frequently. My house is cleaner and my kid actually plays better with the fewer toys that are out.

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  18. Susan Q ......After reading this ...I'm feeling pretty good ...I'm only a little bit unorganized.....I always try to have a home for things .Thanks for all your wonderful ideas!

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  19. I also need to work on finding a place for everything in my home, but I do have a tip to give: I put a pretty tray on my desk with all the little tins and jars I love in it. Then I put all the odds and ends in the little containers. This eliminates a messy desk drawer (which I don't have anyways), I can find things, and it looks cute.

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  20. Apparently you have not been to my house!! Here is my challenge: organize me and you can use the new and improved a place for everything in a photo spread. Help!

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  21. Love this, i'm working this month on organizing my whole house, i'm starting with closets, then going to drawers then cabinets, then rooms, i hope to have a spot for every little thing when i'm done.

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  22. I read a tip once that was helpful to me. Keep items where they are used. I'm the type that likes to keep like items together to an extreme. Cleaning items all had to be stored together, electronic chargers & cords together, instruction manuals together, etc. However, once I added cleaning supplies under each bathroom sink, I cleaned more often. Once I placed my camera cord next to the computer, I uploaded my pictures to the computer more often. Once I placed an instruction manual in the same room with its item, I actually referenced it when needed. I hope this tip helps someone else as it did me. :)

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    1. Thanks! I also used to store things together, but your tip makes more sense. If the gadgets and their cords are next to the computer, you end up using it more often. I also used to put all the instruction manuals together, then somehow forgot where the entire stash was.

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  23. I use whatever we have, like empty plastic containers from the wet wipes, or those from snacks. I try to collect a bunch of the same containers before reorganizing my pens and school supplies.

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