Place It Where You Use It

Place items where it will be most efficient/easy to use them - even if it's in an odd place like hair supplies in the kitchen!

Place It Where You Use It

Whenever I do an organizing consultation or I’m in an organizing session, I use a very strange example to highlight a very important rule of organizing: place it where you use it.

The reason it’s so peculiar is because it’s meant to stand out and make people think differently. As a holistic organizer my aim is to get clients to change their mindset and this example helps do just that.

Here’s how it goes:

Let’s just say for argument’s sake that you’re not a morning person and so you always want 15 more minutes of sleep when the alarm goes off. In order to compensate for those 15 minutes, you eat your morning cereal while blowing your hair dry (obviously this is a terrible example because hair would get in your food, but hear me out).

Now you can’t put your milk and cereal in the bathroom (for obvious reasons) but you could put your hair dryer in the kitchen. If that’s where you use it, that’s where it should live. It doesn’t have to live in the bathroom just because the majority of other people have their hair dryers in the bathroom. 

One mom keeps her kids' hair supplies in the kitchen for easy and efficiency in the mornings.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I was recently unpacking a family into their new home, and found hair ties, brushes, and detangling spray packed in with the kitchen boxes. Now to an untrained eye this may have been a mistake, but I knew that it was meant to be there and I knew why.

Moms are busy, especially wrangling multiple kids in the morning before school. One of the few times when the kids aren’t moving is when they are eating their breakfast. This clever mom knew this and put the hair supplies in the kitchen so she’d have them at the ready, and I love her for it!

Another quick example:

Another mom client was telling me that she’d lose her three girls every morning when they’d go upstairs and brush their teeth after breakfast. The girls would get distracted in their rooms and then they’d inevitably be late for school.

I made the simple suggestion that the dental items should be moved to the downstairs bathroom (right between the kitchen and mudroom where they put their shoes on and get their bags before heading out the door). She looked at me in disbelief.

Could it really be that easy?

Why didn’t I think of that!

This highlights another rule of organizing: keep it simple! But that’s for another blog.

Moral of this short* blog post: put items where you use them. This helps you to be as efficient as possible.

*see I can write short blog posts if I try (wink, wink)

What are some examples of items you have in “odd” or unusual places? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Lauren Mang
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