parenting

Clutter Control: Assigning a Place for the Items in Your Home

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Clutter Control—As part of this clutter control series, we’ll be discussing ways to free yourself from a cluttered home and uncover simple organization tips that you can follow to live in a more organized and functional home. Today’s rule is all about finding a place for everything in your home.

Clutter Control Rule #9: A place for everything, and everything in its place.


Obviously your parents thought of this rule before we did, but maybe that's just another reason why it's so important for getting rid of clutter. Some clutter is just stuff that belongs someplace else. Whether it's the kids' toys strewn through the house, a closet full of clothes that no one in the family wears any longer, newspapers piled in the corner, or paper stacked on the desk, these items are clutter as long as they are not in their proper place.

Let me help you with a couple of easy ones. The spotty, green and black lunch meat in the refrigerator? Its place is in the trash can. The clothes that cover every inch of the carpet in your bedroom? Their place is in one of three places: the dirty clothes hamper, your dresser, or your closet. The dishes in the sink? Their place is in the dishwasher. Get the picture? If you get overwhelmed at any point, reference Rule #8.

Clearly, it's much easier to decide to put everything in its place than it is actually to do it—especially if you're fresh out of places.

The flip side of this rule means that if everything is in its place, you can find an item precisely when you want it. That event in and of itself can sometimes make your day. I never noticed that my father was excited to find anything in its place, but I could always tell when something was out of place. Not because I noticed it was missing, but because my father expressed it loudly and clearly. I was notorious for taking things from their places and not putting them back. The phrases I heard the most were, "Where are my scissors?" and "Who got the milk out and didn't put it back in the refrigerator?" I'm not sure what I was doing with scissors, maybe making collages from my Seventeen magazine clippings. That's neither here nor there. The point is, when things are organized and in their place, this chaotic life we live seems to be a tiny bit more manageable.

How do you assign items to different place in your home? What are your tips and tricks for making items in your home easy to locate?

To follow along in this series, please be sure to check out the previous clutter control tips and tricks:

Debbie Sardone

Debbie Sardone is the founder of Cleaning For a Reason which provides free cleaning services to women who are touched by cancer.  She also owns a Dallas cleaning service.

Her long-time passion for teaching cleaning and organizational has lead her to continue the legacy of Speed Cleaning and the use of green cleaning products.

She can be followed as @DebbieSardone on Twitter.

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