52 Weeks: #38 Put It Back!

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People lose things all the time but is anyone really surprised when they lose something?  Think about it, if every time you walk in the door you set your keys down somewhere different it is no wonder you can’t find them the next time you need them.  Your mind will immediately take you back to all the places you may have put them previously and not necessarily in the order that makes it easy either.  You search all those places and wouldn’t you know it, there they are in the last place you look….20 minutes later!  If every day you spend 20 minutes looking for lost items, do you have any idea how much of your life you are wasting in one year?


Let me tell you.

121 HOURS!!

That is FIVE whole days my friends!!

image credit: bohman

Stats like that always blow my mind and I’ll be honest one of the reasons I’m so crazy for organization is because I AM WAY TOO LAZY TO LOOK FOR THINGS!

I am one of those people who is completely and utterly perplexed when I DO lose something because I am anal about always putting things back in the exact same place.  And not because I’m some kind of superstar either that has to have everything super tidy neat (far from it!).  I HAVE to do this to save my sanity and to avoid wasting time on things I don’t enjoy.  Listen if I’m going to waste time I can think of many better ways to do it 🙂  I do not enjoy aimlessly walking around the house searching and searching, and searching for something (which by the way usually only goes missing because someone in my family has moved it on me…grrrr).

Although I really do think there are people out there that love looking for things because they do it over and over and over again.  Why else would they do it?

I try very hard never to set myself up for failure.  Sometimes it would be easier for sure to just throw whatever it is wherever it may land, especially after a long day.  But I can, without a smidgeon of a doubt, tell you that it is so worth the extra bit of time to always put something back in the exact same place time after time.

And I’m not just talking keys here either.  Think about all the other things that have gone missing on you.  Library cards, bank cards, coupons, receipts, cash (!), cheques, credit cards, etc.  If you don’t take the extra few seconds needed to PUT IT BACK, it will “disappear”.

This disappearing act is not a magic trick, it’s something that can be soooo easily be avoided.

So this week’s challenge is this:

  1. Identify one item that you seem to constantly be looking for.  I’m curious to know what it is.
  2. Identify a “home” for it that makes the most sense for you.  Try this tactic…ask yourself “if this item was lost, where would be the first place I’d look for it?”  Maybe that’s a good place to create a permanent home?  Pay attention to how you think.
  3. Consistently put said item back when done with it.  Ahh that’s the kicker but so worth it!
  4. Commit to giving yourself at least 20 days to build this new habit.
  5. Relax and be less stressed!

Are you with me?  Are you willing to give it a try?


Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!

Filed under: 52 Weeks of Organizing


20 Responses to 52 Weeks: #38 Put It Back!

  1. 1
    raven says

    I just wanted to post this since it’s only good for a couple days (Friday/Saturday) – if you need binders, you might be able to get two free at Staples. They have a coupon out (legitimate) for $3 off their “Better Binder”. http://reg.e.staples.com/c/s/tagfrm/hBOeDnzB7SHGCB8djhlCYold$sJ/coupon.html?n=60&COUPON_1=16486 The binders are on clearance so YMMV in finding them, but are $2.40 for certain colors (glitter, and rubber edged black or white). I am kind of a binder addict because it’s one of the ways I make sure to put things in certain places so that I know EXACTLY where to find it!

  2. 2
    Narelle @ Cook Clean Craft says

    I’m constantly losing my sewing supplies while I’m sewing. I waste so much of my precious craft time looking for my scissors, my ruler, my cutting board, my pins, and the list goes on. I really need to work out a system for where I put things (and maybe not have so much stuff out to start with). Thanks for the prompt!

  3. 3
    Cheryl says

    My car keys! I am getting something to hang on the wall…TODAY!

  4. 4
    Emilie says

    I hate when people do not put things back in the kitchen in the “right” place. Every tool, dish and food item have a home. I can easily find things when I am cooking ro baking if everyone puts things back.

    I have two crocks for utensils. One is by the stove with pancake turners, spoons, my meat chopper, meat fork, etc and one on the other counter with baking tools: spatulas, whisks, wooden spoons, etc. One was just too crowded.

    I also have specific spots in my fridge…that way when I make a grocery list I can open the door and see what we need immediately. I have a major OCD when it comes to my fridge 🙂

    recently though, I have lost a money bag (with money, a calculator, pens and a calendar). No idea where it is since it is not in it’s new home. I moved a lot of things around to be more organized and think it got lost in the shuffle! argh!

  5. 5
    Martha (MM) says

    I am totally with you on the “put it back” theory. My life would be total chaos if I didn’t. My hubby still hasn’t learned (it’s like talking to a wall). Every time he is leaving the house it takes 30 minutes before he finally has things together and then after he walks out the door I always know without a doubt that he will be coming back in at least once if not twice before he pulls out of the driveway – and still usually forgets something! UGH!!

  6. 6
    se7en says

    Now if I could just find my glasses, which have a dedicated “put it back spot” for a reason… I could actually blog about this… searching and searching, with a torch around the house because everyone is sleeping!!!

  7. 7
    Brennan's Mom says

    I lose everything. I always have. I think it’s because someone keeps moving them on me (Gramma used to call them gremlins)…

    Kind of like my link – in all my wisdom and scatterbrainedness, I somehow managed to make my link up link to your blog, Laura… Not mine… The link should be http://barefootdeliberations.blogspot.com/2011/09/52-week-challenge-week-38-take-two.html

    I didn’t want to post another link – can it be fixed or should I relink?

    Some of us really need more work than others… 😉 Have i suggested creating a twelve step program? 😉 Thanks for hosting and inspiring!

    • 7.1
      Laura says

      Oh good, I saw that you linked up again, that’s great. Thank you!!

  8. 8
    Kristi says

    I’m with you! Mine is my keys! UGH! I lose them ALL THE TIME! I lose them in the house but more often than not I lose them in my purse! I search for 20 minutes on a regular basis. Other than that, I’m super organized – I just can’t get a handle on my keys!


    • 8.1
      Joanne says

      Kristi, My MIL bought me a purse key hook. It holds my keys on one end and has a pretty hook that I hook over the edge of my purse. As long as I remember to hook my keys on to my purse instead of just dropping them in, my keys are always easy to find (which is very important with my black-hole-of-a-purse). If you Google “Finders Key Purse” or “key hook for purse” you can see tons of options. This has been such a time saver for me.

      • Kristi G says

        Wow. That is so insanely simple and perfect! They’re cute too! Thanks for the idea!

        • Deneice says

          I have also seen a MAGNET key holder. It is pretty neat. I saw it at a mall. No clue what its called. However, it clamps in your purse and your keys will always stick to it when you drop them inside!

      • Kristi G says

        Thanks. That would definitely work too.

  9. 9
    Tania says

    Scissors! I own about two dozen and they are somewhere in my house. I don’t know where but I have the receipts to prove that I bought them (just for my sanity so I know I’m not crazy!). I had a drawer that I would always try to put them back in but my darling daughter is about as diligent about putting things back as I am. *sigh*

    There is always at least four unfinished projects around my house (yes, my house is a mess! but (‘m trying to find the various tables again, lol). I am slowly getting there but am still too embarassed to have anyone over (I block the door with my body so no one can come in…sad).

    Just want to say thanks for this site because it’s given me lots of ideas and hope that I can get there eventually. 🙂

  10. 10
    Martha (MM) says

    Hi Laura and organizing friends! I’m back at my MM”s Missions blog and ready to participate in the 52 weeks again. I posted my story to date for this week at my new feature Minimalist Monday in hopes that I can help others in their decluttering, organizing and minimizing too!

  11. 11
    S. Davis says

    sunglasses – try to keep them in the car or purse, but find myself looking for them frequently


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