I’m a firm believer in things having a very definite and permanent home. When I don’t have an exact spot for something, I end up wasting tons of time looking for it, like my keys (Note: I have progressed past my tried and true nail to an actual key holder – thanks Ma & Tom.).
I have not always been like this. There is plenty of photographic evidence of my childhood room looking like it had been ransacked. Something changed when I was in my 20s. It was all thanks to my grandma.
During one of my visits with her, she mentioned a recommendation her doctor had given her after her Parkinson’s diagnosis: By giving things an exact spot, it allows the body to automatically reach for things rather than having to think about it. This would allow her to live independently longer. Something about the mindset of making things easier on myself resonated.
I have spent so much of my life looking around for things that don’t have a home. There are occasional areas where I don’t have specific designated locations for items, but rather a general region. It normally results in chaos.
When I first bought my condo, I was so thrilled to find out it had a little storage unit. That three foot by four foot area means so much when living in tight quarters. Up until a couple weekends ago, it was stuff simply stacked on top of each other in a very Tetrus manner. I tried to keep everything grouped by category, but shapes were more important in the stacking than type. Inevitably whatever I wanted was at the bottom of the stack.
DH2U had the wonderful idea of installing shelves.
What a difference! Now I can get to things, and things can have an EXACT home. I feel so much more me when I can say, “You can find that on the middle shelf on the right hand side towards the back.” It’s amazing how much better life can be thanks to the little things.
What was the latest simple fix you’ve done that made a big difference? or Do all of your things have a definite “home”?
8 thoughts on “Everything in Its Place”
Yes they do – because I’m living in an RV and every inch counts. And I live in it with my husband so we both have to be respectful of tidiness and organization. But even in our old, big old home – we were that way. However – my writing desk is another story. And my coach is helping me with that – organization will help me be able to focus more on creative thinking – because I’m not fumbling around looking for this piece of research or that quote or that snippet, etc. AGain – more time up front but way more efficient in the long run.
We are sisters! I have such a hard time concentrating when I am among clutter, but my desk can get that way if I’m not diligent. Long term efficiency is what it is all about.
Oh yeah, all my things have a home. When I start cleaning, the first thing I do is put stuff away. However, my wife doesn’t have a home for everything. I don’t know where they all go so I sometimes just put it where I think it will go. I guess her tolerance for clutter isn’t as strong as mine.
That is how I start my cleaning process, too! Your wife is a lot like DH2U – he has rough areas as to where things might be. Fortunately we have separate areas of responsibilities. It keeps us both sane.
I am in the process of helping my sister-in-law clean out her house to get ready to move after 20 years. It is amazing how much stuff we collect over time. She is anxious to get to her much smaller condo and start fresh with organization. I’ll be there to help her with my very favorite tool – my label maker!
Hi Mo, I envy you your label maker! What an awesome organization tool you have.
I try to move every few years to cut down the clutter. It’s a bit extreme, and much more difficult now that I own. I try to do a purge twice a year, but it’s not nearly as dramatic as when I have the need to carry everything I still own. Good luck with helping your sister-in-law pare down her stuff.
No, our things do not all have a home. We’re working on it and are much better than we used to be, but we need some work. We did a huge clean and purge last summer and honestly I could do it again! It’s amazing how fast things accumulate when you don’t keep up with it.
Purges feel good, and at least for me, they put me in the mood of getting rid of even more stuff! Things will find a home. That stability of knowing exactly where to look for something puts my mind at ease.