One of the most important secrets to decluttering a home (and keeping it spotless) is to make sure that everything has a specific, logical place to go when it’s cleanup time.
Why, you ask? Keep reading to to learn how giving everything it’s own specific space can help keep your home decluttered and relieve stress — even if you’re not naturally an organized person!
Why Does Every Item Need a Designated Space?
One of the primary reasons clutter gets built up in a home is because the owner simply has too much stuff!
But the other biggest reason is that the stuff just doesn’t have it’s own place to go, that nothing else can fill!
You can have all the stuff in the world, but if you can’t find it in a pile of clutter, what good is it to you?
This is where the concept of minimalism and only keeping things around that “spark joy” in you really start to make sense!
And even if that pile of clutter gives you anxiety and causes you to feel overwhelmed, if you don’t already have a place for everything to go, you might just continue to procrastinate the decluttering process, and allow the clutter to continue piling up! *raises hand* …
By giving each item it’s own place to go, you’ll always know exactly where to return it when it’s out of place, and where to FIND it!
For me, this relieves a lot of the stress and overwhelm, and helps motivate me to just get up already and quickly put everything away, which makes me feel productive AND ready to tackle something I actually want to do.
Tips for Choosing a Logical Place to Store Each Item
When trying to decide where an item should live in your home, it’s not helpful to just pick a random spot. Better to pick a place that makes sense for you and your lifestyle, and to put like things together. This way, if you ever forget where an item is you’ll know to go to the place that makes the most sense to YOUR brain.
I also find that it helps to keep the living space available to you in mind, and if need be, create more custom storage solutions based around your items, rather than forcing your items to fit into the cabinets, shelving, closets etc. you already own.
This may simply mean adding storage bins to your current storage furniture, or possibly REPLACING furniture that itself is more in the way than it is actually useful.
If possible, I also like to start with a clean slate, and then purchase furniture and decor that not only looks the way I like aesthetically, but also has a logical function.
This is especially helpful with a small home where your space limited. “Just pretty” won’t cut it in a tiny living space. You’ve got to make the most of every inch and prioritize multi-purpose decor!
Start with a Clean Slate
It’s great to decluttering a space WITHOUT everything already put away. If you already have too much stuff and aren’t sure where to start, the first step to finding places for everything to go is to actually go through what you already have and start PURGING.
You’ll feel so much better if you can simply move out some of the clutter, and ideally narrow it down to only the things you really need and love.
You can donate items that someone else could use, or even try to sell them on sites like Poshmark.
But once you’ve got your pile of clutter narrowed down to things that truly mean something to you, it will be much less overwhelming and motivating to find everything it’s own special place!
Categorize the Items by Room
Before giving everything a SPECIFIC place to go, start with putting everything into a general category that makes the most sense.
For instance: towels could go in the bathroom, or a linen closet, or even your bedroom closet (or some in each).
Scissors, pens and paper would likely go in your desk, or office, or possibly kitchen drawer.
Things pertaining to sleeping, such as PJs, extra sheets and pillows would likely be stored in your bedroom near your bed.
Just think about where it would GENERALLY make the most sense for them to go, and put them in that “room” pile.
And if you’re not sure which room would make the most sense, just think about where you’d most likely be when you’d be using that item. If you store it where you use it, it will always be within close reach when you need it!
Assign a Specific Spot to Each Item
Now that you’ve got your items sorted into general categories, it’s time to figure out exactly where everything should go!
I suggest starting with the items you use the most, or are most likely to use, and keep them in the places that are easiest to access.
Then, the items that will sometimes be needed but perhaps not on a regular basis, can fit into the places that are left.
What if Everything I Assign to a Room Doesn’t Fit?
OK, so you’ve got everything sorted into general categories, and your PRIORITY items already in their designated spots so you can quickly grab them… but there’s not enough room to fit everything else.
I suggest moving the items that don’t have a logical place in your first choice room to the NEXT most logical room.
If after you’ve placed all of the priority items in THAT room the moved items still don’t fit, there are a few options:
- You can move them again, to the next most logical room.
- You can take another hard look at the items to decide whether you really need an want to keep them, or let them go.
- If you aren’t ready to let go of an item but really can’t find a logical place to keep it, I find it really helpful to have a designated junk drawer / junk shelf / junk closet that can act as a catch-all storage area for anything you’re not ready to let go of, but that doesn’t have it’s own place to go.
Wait… Designated Junk Storage?
Having “designated junk storage” may seem counter-intuitive, but for me I find it really helpful to have a place to put an item when I just don’t know where else to put it!
It keeps these items from cluttering up the spaces that I’ve already worked so hard to declutter and organize more logically. It’s also the first place I know to look when I can’t find something where I thought I would have put it!
I know first-hand how difficult it can be to stay organized if it doesn’t come naturally to you.
But having a specific place to put everything (INCLUDING designated junk storage) has really been the key to me finally getting and KEEPING my space organized and decluttered… most of the time!
I hope this simple but powerful decluttering concept will help you too!