a place for everything – and everything in its place

Life is busy.  Most of us don’t have time to search for things we’ve misplaced.  And no one enjoys it.

Research shows that we spend, on average, 5000 lifetime hours looking for things that we’ve misplaced.  60% of people have reported being late for work because they lost something.

Besides being annoying, losing things is expensive.  Time is money, for starters.  But also, the replacement costs money, often dearly.  If you can’t find your hammer, you buy a new one.  If you lose track of what’s in the pantry or fridge, you end up throwing it out.  If you lose important documents, there can be huge financial consequences.

All of this can be avoided by practicing “a place for everything, and everything in its place.”

Your “stuff” should all be in the same area, like things with like-items.  All your socks in the same bin.  All your tools in one place (though a quick-grab tool box is an exception, the less-frequently used tools all need to be organized).  All your pantry items together, not arbitrarily put in with the plates or cookbooks.

How can you adopt this system?

— identify a category that has items dispersed all over the house

— collect all like-items in one area or box, from all those places

— identify the “place” where this category will go, and put it there.

Next time you are looking for something in the category, you’ll know where to look.

It’s really that simple.  The hardest part is choosing a category that is the right size/volume.

For example, if you only own a dozen pairs of shoes, the above method works perfectly.  However, if you have a hundred pairs of shoes, you’ll need to micro-organize.  That could mean work shoes separate from exercise shoes, separate from flip-flops.  Keep each of the sub categories together.

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