A place for everything, and everything in its place.
Sounds great, but how does one do this? Before the kid, our living room was pretty empty. There were the piles of my stuff on the floor, but they weren’t too big. We had the furniture, and everything was sleek besides the piles of stuff on the floor. Um, piles of stuff on the floor do not work with a small child in the house, especially once she was good at eating paper. I figured I should pick up the piles off the floor and put them up. Up where? You know, up. Except there wasn’t any up in our living room. We only had seating furniture and lamps. I tried just taking all my books and papers and magazines and electronics out of the living room, but it turned out that I wanted them IN the living room. A couple chapters of a home organization book later I hit on a really simple concept.
Keep stuff in containers near where they are used. Containers can be boxes, shelves, baskets, hanging rods or sorters. As much as we didn’t want stuff in our living room, it is where we do a lot of living. I finally caved, hauled up a bookshelf from the basement, and put stuff on the shelves. The bottom couple feet are just where my kid now likes to sit (she likes to get in and out of things, bookshelves included), and the top several shelves have all my books and papers and magazines and electronics. I also added a little plastic storage container to keep the electronics from avalanching off the shelf.
- In the kitchen, I put up a little decorative shelf to keep the spices organized so they don’t fall out of the cupboard every single time I use spices.
- In the bathroom, I used a narrow plastic tub to keep my makeup in the medicine cabinet so they don’t get knocked into the trash the ten times a year I wear makeup. Well, ten might be an exaggeration, it’s probably only six most years.
- In the coat closet, I used plastic baskets a little larger than shoeboxes to hold our hats, gloves, and other random outerwear.
- I got some cheap plastic shelves (okay, free after rebate at Menards) to store my husband’s clothes so he could see them without digging through all the drawers.
It’s a whole lot easier to have everything in its place when there is a place for everything. This guideline really needs to be followed in order.
What chronic problem areas in your home could be helped by a little storage reboot?