S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E. – E is for Everything in its Place
E – Everything in its place
I am sure you have heard this mantra many times: “A place for everything and everything in its place”. This sounds easier than it is, especially as your home is in the process of decluttering and organising. However, over the last 3 weeks, you will already have assigned certain areas to specific items/groups and you can see a pattern forming. You will start to realise when something is not in its place.
When something is not in its place, you have 2 options: put it where you have allocate this to be (or will soon be) or let it go if you don’t think this item warrants space in your home.
But how do you decide where to put things?
Your home is divided into rooms and these rooms can perform multiple functions. Where to place items depends on this. Now you have allocated the item to a specific room, another factor is how often you use it and how accessible it needs to be. Follow these steps and soon everything will have a place:
Step 1: take the item to the room you are most likely to use it
Step 2: subdivide your space into: Inner Circle, Outer Circle and Deep Storage.
· In your Inner Circle you will store all those items you use regularly and need to have easy access to get and to put away. Think toothbrush, kitchen utensils, laptop.
· The Outer Circle will contain items that you don’t use daily but would like relatively easy access to, such as wrapping paper, stock of cleaning supplies, sports equipment that is not used weekly etc. To determine what belongs in the Outer Circle, it’s all the stuff you use less than once a week but more than once a year.
· With Deep Storage, think loft, basement or shed. This is where you keep things that get used once or twice a year. Camping gear, seasonal sports equipment and decorations. Keep it organised and categorised. Don’t keep things here because you have no other place for it. If that is the case, go back to Reasons [R is for Reason for Each Item] and decide whether you really need to hold onto it after all.
Maintenance and a break of habits will be the hardest part of keeping clutter at bay but what can you do to stay on top of it?
You could think of labelling so that everyone in your family knows where things are kept and if everyone places the items back in its designated place after use, clutter will soon be a thing of the past.
Allocate tasks within the timeframe that you have and finish a job before you move on. If you have 5 minutes before you need to go out, don’t start a job that you know takes longer than the allotted time, you won’t be able to finish it and most probably leave it more disorganised than if you never started the task.
Clutter is a social creature, it’s never alone for long. A few items out of place will soon result in more and more. Spend a few minutes at the end of every day putting things away and stray items will not get settled.