A Place for EVERTHING...........

A designated place for everything is the key to having order in your home or office. It also cuts down on the questions, "Where is the...?" or "Where does this go?". It takes some simple steps to start finding a place for everything.

First, observe where it is that you use those items.

Second, start to establish a place for those items. Clear out the space and only put what you want in that place. You may place a container or box in that place for storing those items. Start with a temporary container, you always find more than you thought that you had for that place. As an organizer, I see too many of my clients purchasing organizing containers before they really have established what it is they will be containerizing and where it will go once containerized. Just think how much time and money you will save when going to Target, or the Container Store to purchase the containers that you need after you've established what it is that you will need!

Third, and the most difficult, gather those items that you're starting a "home" for. Ask yourself if you need 5 of those vegetable peelers, 8 of those pink erasers. etc.... get the idea? The hardest part of getting organized is to eliminate the clutter in the areas where you want to have a specific place for specific items.

Fourth, label the container. If it's a temporary box, label the box with a marker, if it’s a plastic container, put a piece of painter's tape on the box and write on the tape. (Painter’s tape works great for temporary labels. It peels off safely leaving no residue)

Fifth, introduce your family members or those using those items to the labeled “home”. Encourage them to return the items to that established place. It may take a while, but they will soon realize that in the future they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for.

Sixth, re-evaluate, time is the test, it may not happen overnight. If it takes more time, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate the place, if you have placed a lid on the container, it may be time consuming for the returnee to put the items away, the location height may not fit all the users. Re-evaluate. Remember the more steps it takes to put something away, the less successful it will be, especially when children are involved, or husbands.

Last but not least….a successful place! Measure the area and size you need and purchase a permanent container for those items. Be creative and make it fun and easy to dust or clean at a later time.


As soon as my family enters our home from the garage, there is the coat rack/cubby shelf. This is a great place to hang keys, place library books that need to be returned, outgoing mail, coats and a camera. Shoes are left in the garage, in case you were wondering. In the winter, hats and mittens are placed in some of the cubbies.

The piano room can be a place for chaos, music books left on the floor, on top of the piano, papers falling behind the piano. I placed a decorative file basket with each child's name on a hanging file folder for them to place their music books and papers in. After a few times of loosing books or sheet music, they have learned not to leave their music lying around.

The pantry is a place that can get quite chaotic when the family members are making lunches before school, grabbing a quick snack, etc... Easy labeled containerizing is the key. It also helps the beginning cook to distinguish the baking soda from the powdered sugar.

You can find cute labels at studio JK.

The room where everyone hangs out...usually where the television or the gaming center is, right?! In this room you can find DVD's, old VHS tapes, video game discs, and if you are lucky, the remotes. I've found it helpful to have a place, such as a drawer to store the video games. When the drawer is opened, the video games are in plain view. I have old VHS tapes, the ones the kids still like to watch and reminisce about their childhood, and I have placed those in a basket nook where it isn't used as often and not in the way.

And believe it or not, we can usually find the remotes in this room, in the prized box that one of my children made in a woodworking class. It's not my first choice, but when I said in my "out loud" voice, "Hum, I wonder what we can put the remotes in?". My daughter, proudly brought the box from her room and said, "This will work great, Mom!". Perhaps the ownership makes this a successful place for the remotes, because we know how difficult it is to find the remotes when needed.

There are many ideas and what may work for Martha Stewart, may not work for you. We're lucky that in this day and age,organizing containers come in so many shapes, materials, styles, and colors to make organizing your home fun. Be creative and put your personality into the organized home!


Julie said...

lOOve it! and...were you talking directly to ME???

carlen said...

LOVE THIS SITE!!! even the peaceful music makes me take a deep breath and say to myself . . . "I CAN DO THIS!!!" you're amazing! keep the ideas coming and i'll EAT THEM UP!!!