How to: Put Things Away

Do you have a home? (If not, I advise you to stop reading and click here.) Does your neighbor have a home? How about your coworker? And your best friend's aunt's dog? They've all got homes. Why, of course they do! Our home is where we go at the end of the day. It's where the heart is. It's what keeps us safe. And guess what. People aren't the only ones who need homes. Neither are animals, plants, and bicycles. EVERYTHING needs a home. Every. Single. Last. Freakin. Thing. What I mean is that all of your belongings belong somewhere specific. Heck, that's why they're called 'belongings' to begin with.

One key step in getting organized is figuring out where things should go. It can often seem impossible to find the very right place for that seasonal table decoration or your collection of extra shoelaces. But like I said before, everything has a home. It just may take some thinking before finding the right spot.

Cue the tips!

1) Consider whether or not you should actually keep the item. Sometimes the best home for something is the garbage can (**dramatic music**) or Salvation Army. Don't hold on to things just because you once needed them. Be realistic and practical before putting things away.

2) Put like-items together. When faced with something, think about what you use it for. What do you use it with? Is it a tool? (Toolbox!) Is it a toiletry? (Bathroom!) Is this item an electronic? If so, store it with the other electronics. Perhaps it's a kitchen utensil. I bet you can figure out where that goes...

3) Think about frequency of use. Items that you use all of the time should be more accessible than those that you use less often. If you're utilizing the backs of closets or drawers (less-accessible areas), make sure that things you will need are in the foreground.

4) Consider the best way put the item away. There's the drawer! The shelf! The plastic container! When putting things away, think about how they will be accessed. Something you need to look at and select (books, spices, or linen) should go on shelves. Stackable items (board games, papers, or towels) usually work well on shelves too. Smaller, looser belongings (paper clips, batteries, or matchbooks) are more drawer-worthy. While collections (old letters, pongs [remember those??], or art supplies) can often appropriately live in plastic containers so they can be accessed as a unit.

Keep in mind that organizing is very personal. Don't let your friend bully you if you store your blow dryer in the back of your bathroom closet. If you don't use it, I'm sure you still look fabulous. And if not, you rock that frizzy mane!

Now go find homes for those belongings! I ain't gonna charge you a broker's fee because I heart you.