Have you ever heard yourself say, “Now where in the world did I put ______?”
If so, you are not alone!
According to one study, the average person wastes almost 55 minutes every day looking for lost or misplaced items! Wouldn’t you love to reclaim that time for doing something that is more meaningful to you?
The most commonly misplaced item is keys – and the book It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul attests to that fact. Other typical items include remotes, reading glasses, sun glasses, lip balm, gloves, school papers, and library books. Sometimes, it is just a minor annoyance and you can quickly find it again. However, when you misplace your cell phone, checkbook, credit card, concert tickets, tax bill, or an expensive piece of jewelry, you suddenly realize that your carelessness may eventually not only cost you time, but also quite a bit of money.
It’s in moments like these when we appreciate the value of grouping similar things together and assigning consistent “homes” for those items.
That means that eventually you will only look in one place for anything you need. It just takes a little bit of time to determine where that logical home should be.
Why am I keeping this?
When will I use this again?
Where would I look for this?
CREATE ACTIVITY ZONES:
Remember how a kindergarten classroom had activity areas? All the supplies you needed for that activity were store and used in one area. You can use the same strategy in your home! Put all the entertainment items together in one area. Gather all your magazines and books together. Store all your baking supplies together in one cabinet. Keep all your craft supplies in one area where you are most likely to use them. Put all of the clothes you wear in one closet. Select just one place for winter coats and boots. Designate just one closet for first aid supplies, hair accessories, personal products, and travel supplies. Use large plastic containers or baskets to separate sports equipment in the garage.
CREATE SPECIAL HOMES:
Car Keys & House Keys on a hook or in a basket by the door you use to enter or leave.
Remote Controls in one basket closest to where you sit when using that device.
Reading Glasses in a basket by your reading chair or computer.
Library Books in a designated tote bag by the door.
Stapler, Tape, & Scissors within easy reach while sitting at your desk.
Pens & Pencils in one cup rather than scattered throughout the house.
Paper clips, rubber bands, twisty ties in divided compartments in a drawer.
Coupons in envelopes or zipper pouches.
Mail in one small basket or bin that you empty each day.
Clip board for school schedules and permission slips.
Plastic tote box for all your tax documents for the current year.
Binder for all your bills and budget chart.
Binder with page protectors for all your recipes.
Binder with page protectors for your warranty booklets.
Dishes, cups, & glasses stored close to the sink or dishwasher.
Pots & pans stored in the drawer below the oven.
You may have noticed that almost everything listed above was in some sort of container. That creates an automatic limit. It simply is not practical or realistic to keep everything! I like to say:
“KEEP the BEST and DONATE the REST!!”
It will naturally be easier to find what you are looking for when there are less items in your house!
Just yesterday I needed a shower cap so my newly permed hair would not get wet. I knew exactly where to find one—it was in the “travel supplies” basket in my linen closet! That experience is what prompted me to write this blog. It was a small victory that made me smile!
Remember these three words: ZONES, HOMES, & LIMITS!
Then you will be able to quickly find and put away anything.
P.S. Plan to enjoy reclaiming those extra minutes!!
What is the last item that you misplaced or lost?