Designated spaces….

You hear the phrase “everything should have a home” thrown around quite often. I like to say items should have a “designated space”. There are so many reasons for this. The first being the most obvious, you’ll know where to find what you need when you need it. For example, if your cookbooks have a designated space in your home where they are ALL located together than every time you needed a recipe you’d know exactly where to find it. I have one shelf in my study that I can afford to designate strictly to my cookbooks and it is full as in no more room for cookbooks and I do not have another shelf I can give up. So the next time I purchase a cookbook does it mean I must now find a completely new home for this one lonely little cookbook….do I start another shelf of cookbooks in my basement…NO! What it means is that in order for me to keep this cookbook I must make room on my cookbook shelf for it…in other words I’ll have to get rid of one I already own.

The question I ask myself now before I make my purchase is “do I have the space in the designated area AND if I don’t am I willing to get rid of something in order to make the space?”. The solution is NOT to just shove that extra cookbook (or shoes, purses, lipsticks, whatever, I’m just using cookbooks as an example) on the shelf and hope that magically the space will create itself.

If it doesn’t fit, somethings gotta go!

Keep to your designated spaces and limits and your house will remain organized.

You save time by knowing where the item is AND you save money by not purchasing items that a) do not fit in the designated space or b) you didn’t know you already had because they were scattered all over the house.

Try it, it really works!

Filed under: Organizing


25 Responses to Designated spaces….

  1. 1
    Beck says

    My husband built me special cookbook shelves in the kitchen. Handy! But we have a big ol’ barn of a house with no closets, so finding storage space for other things is a constant struggle. Your post was a great reminder.

  2. 2
    Jenny says

    That was one of the reasons I fell in love with this house. There are designated areas for everything.(we’re still working on the basement though!Scary!)
    It does make life WAY easier to know that’s the space for it!

  3. 3
    Sandra says

    You are my HERO when it comes to organizing…..I only wish I could be more like you 🙂

    I so often find that I don’t have a designated space for everything, it’s frustrating…thanks for reminding me to work on that 🙂

  4. 4
    Dee says

    If that’s not the truth!!!!!! My grandmother always told me to have a home for everything… if it didn’t have a home, find it one or get rid of it. Well – most days I remember this, but sometimes, I get sidetracked and hang on to stuff that piles up. Sadly, clutter can drag you down. Great post and reminder for us to find each thing its’ own home!!!

  5. 5
    mom of 2 says

    Amen to that!! We have had to invoke this rule with our daughter and stuffed animals! It was totally out of control…so we narrowed it down to what could fit in her toy box (which is more than I thought could fit!!) We’ve told all family and friends that if you buy her another stuffed animal that you will inflict major emotional damage on the girl because she’ll have to get rid of one that she truly loves. I’ll tell you it has worked like a charm! Great advice!!!

  6. 6
    Jenny says

    I was thought I would share this which you probably already do. I have a few recipe books that sit on a built in shelf in the dining area. Usually if I find a recipe that I really like I type it out on the computer and save it in the recipe folder I have created. I have many recipes and this way I don’t have a cluttered area full of books. The good thing is that sometimes in the week if I’m going to bake a certain cookie recipe I’ll print it off and leave it in the basket ( I have a couple on the built in shelves for the odd recipe magazine etc) and can use it for the week.
    Anyhow this always saves clutter and I still have a lot of recipes.
    (I use the microsoft work launcher recipe index card)
    Have a great day!

  7. 7
    sister sarah says

    The great thing about having a home for everything is that you don’t have to be there to have everything put away…what I am getting at is if the books alway go on the bookshelf the WHOLE family knows where things go and they can put things away also! Great post sister!

  8. 8
    PEZmama says

    I just wanted to stop by and let you know that my kids’ room has been clean for almost 4 weeks. This is unbelievble…. they share a room and there isn’t much space, but the real problem is that my oldest is a pack rat.

    Well, reading your blog inpsired me to go out and buy some storage containers. Not some, but twenty-six to be exact. Of those, about 18 ended up in their rooms.

    I told my daughter that everything now has a place, and she is responsible for putting her things where they belong. (She is five, and she seems to really like all the containers, so it has worked for her.) I also told her that if a container got full, she’d have to get rid of something to make room.

    She wasn’t so into getting rid of her stuff while we were cleaning it, but now that she’s seen how great it is to have a clean room, she is actually throwing out trash WILLINGLY and even VOLUNTEERED to clean out her desk.

    So, all that to say, thanks for the inspiration.

    Sorry to hijack your comments.

  9. 9
    Mom2fur says

    “A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place”! Well, I have th first half right, anyway! But having a designated area is a great idea because then, at least, you don’t have to stop and think, “where should I put this?” A great way to save time!

  10. 10
    Becky says

    I wholeheartedly believe in this! I just need to implement it at my house. Boy, it sure would get us out of buying more clutter! Thanks for sharing this and for the reminder. 🙂

  11. 11
    Anonymous says

    I was looking for a menu because we are going on a trip in a couple weeks. I stumbled on to your site and had to go clean the book shelves in my room. I had three of them in the corner and they looked bad.
    They look really nice and now I will have to keep going because there is a lot more clutter. I am taking it one step and project at a time. My room is the one I never get to so it felt really good to start there.
    I have to say that my mother always said an organized sock drawer or Tupperware cupboard was a sign of a sick mind. I believe she would drive right by if she saw matched socks at a garage sale. =)
    Thank you for all the comments and inspiration.

  12. 12
    Connie Case says

    This is a powerful tool that can be used for those of us who might…buy on impluse.:(

    I do have to fight that, and I find if I make myself think about it a day or so before I do it I don’t go back.

  13. 13
    kerri says

    I especially love the shopping advice. And it is motivating me to be harsher in my sorting of the kids’ toy closet! (This one gets out of control because of all the grandparent & others gifts.)

  14. 14
    mel says

    i really like your website, and thanks for this great post. my family and i recently made a last-minute long-distance relocation for employment reasons. it was a rushed and extremely demanding process, and i let go of about half the stuff i was holding onto. it was extremely challenging b/c i wasn’t quite ready for it, but i’d been wanting to do it for a long time. now i’m ready for the next phase…where i make an effort to acquire only what i can really use, and where i continue to let go of things i don’t use or love.

  15. 15
    Laura Anderson says

    I totally agree that everything needs a place, and if I can’t find it I get very frustrated. When things are in order I can rest easy. I’ve use some great home organization
    ideas from ReadyMade, a client of mine.


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