Why You Need A Place For Your Stuff

Where do you put your stuff?

Is it organized?

Or are piles your main method of organization?

How do you keep your stuff organized?

A Place for Your Stuff

Where do you put your stuff when you aren’t using it?

To paraphrase George Carlin…

“Life is about finding a place for your stuff.”

If only we had a place for all of our stuff (and we put it there)… then we would never have to search for anything.

It would always be where it was supposed to be.

Right where we put it.

Here are some tips to keep your stuff in its place:

  • Give Everything a Home – If you knew where you last put something then you would always know where to find it. To solve this, make sure that everything has a home and that you put it in the same place every time. Get creative here and give as many things as possible a home.
  • Put Things Away – Do you put things where they belong? Or do you simply shed everything when you enter your house and things end up everywhere? Tip #1 only works if you put things where they belong. The few extra steps that it takes you to put something away now, will save you much time later.
  • Use Your Productivity Tools for What They Were Intended – Ever write down an appointment in your notebook? Or put someone’s contact info in a meeting invite? Make sure use your tools for the purpose they were designed for. Appointments on your calendar. Phone numbers in your contacts. And so on. This makes things much easier to locate down the road.
  • Containers are Powerful – Containers are really good at, well, containing things. I love to use all types of containers to manage my stuff. Boxes, files, and even Ziploc bags can do wonders to contain your busy life.

Everything in its Place

If you don’t have a place for your stuff, it’s going to end up everywhere.

Piles aren’t organization, despite what some will say.

Put your stuff in its place now, or you’ll be cleaning it up later.

Question: How do you keep your things in their place?

17 thoughts on “Why You Need A Place For Your Stuff

  1. I have been enjoying the move toward minimalism at both home and work. The less “stuff” you have, the less you need to keep up with or worry about. By keeping fewer things in my office, I can focus on the important docs or tools and keep them handy. However, I do struggle as a notebook and pen addict and have MANY more than I need (1 of each). SIGH

  2. I finally put all of the cords, adapters, etc. for all of my gadgets into a zip-lock bag…as long as I return them to that bag I always know where they are – and I get frustrated a lot less. Can’t believe the new iPhone requires a completely different cord…when will the madness end!

    1. As simple and low tech as it is, I collect all my travel cords in a gallon Ziploc bag in my suitcase.
      As for the new iPhone cord… I finally escaped the old connector when I recently switched to the iPad Mini. Both my phone and iPad are on the new lightning plug. While the switchover was a bit of a pain, the new cord is much better. 🙂

  3. First have less stuff!
    I also reckon that storing in broad categories is quicker and less prone to error. Needless subdividing takes time such as having several containers for different size batteries – one does the job faster.
    Also store things that get used a lot conveniently. If you want to regularly cycle don’t store you bike under a mountain of junk in a shed at the bottom of the garden. You’ll never get it out but if you did it’s sure not to find its way back.

  4. Great post, reminds me of the time my mom visited me at University :). She almost had a heart attack because I did none of the stuff from this article. Papers, textbooks, dirty laundry – everything was on the floor.

    Things changed when I started putting things away after using them. Sounds obvious, but this eliminated the need for weekly clean-ups (which I hate and never do on time). It takes a few seconds but saves a lot of effort in the long run.

    One other thing I’ve learned from moving often – and Peter & MAH-10 have also commented on this – is that I don’t need much stuff to begin with. That’s why over the past year, I’ve been giving away/selling off *a lot* of my belongings. Old clothes, old sneakers, old gadgets, impulse buys, etc… The kind of objects people rarely use but hold on to for some reason.

    1. Great points, George… especially about getting rid of old stuff. It is amazing the things that people convince themselves that the “might need some day.”

  5. I’m so bad at valuing the time it takes to get stuff organized. I think I’m allergic to admin and filing so I avoid it at all costs, but when I do have a crazy clear out and get everything in order I feel SOOOO much better!
    It’s all about getting yourself in the best place so you can do your best work. Like good old Abe said “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’s spend six hours sharpening my ax”

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