Simple Yet Essential Organizing Advice: It Boils Down to This

Do you remember the book “Everything I Ever Learned I Learned in Kindergarten?” For those of you not of my, um, decade, this was a book that said “most of what we really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be we learned in kindergarten.” Well, I can say the same about organizing. A mess was not allowed in our house. Heart surgery could have been performed on my bathroom floor, so clean and tidy was my childhood home. The best organizing advice I ever heard came from my mother: It’s just as easy to put something away where it belongs as where it doesn’t. BAM! Simple yet essential organizing advice.

It's just as easy to put something away where it belongs as where it doesn't. Click To Tweet


Simple Yet Essential Organizing Advice


Simple Yet Essential Organizing Advice


This seemingly innocuous sentence holds two gems:

  1. every item must have a home
  2. you must take the time to put items away in their home

Every Item Must Have a Home

From the lowly paper clip to your sweater collection, everything needs to have a place. If it doesn’t

  • the space is not being used to it’s full potential
  • there is too much stuff

And that’s the ugly truth of it. It’s natural for us to unconsciously allow our belongings to fill the space we have-and often beyond. But when every item has a home, oh the ease of knowing what you have, finding what you need!

when every item has a home, oh the ease of knowing what you have, finding what you need! Click To Tweet

According to Newsweek, the average American spends 55 minutes each day looking for items in their homes. Yowza! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like to have an extra hour each day. Me, I’d read. Getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in an average home according to The National Soap and Detergent Association. Oh, never mind, you like cleaning, right? Ha!

Take The Time to Put Items Away

My mother gave me this simple yet essential sage advice because I was “a dribbler.” Apparently when I was small I would dribble my belongings when I came home from school. First the shoes, then the coat, then the backpack etc. I know. I know. And I even grew up to organize others as my day job.

So my mother trained me to take the extra few seconds to put my things away in their proper home. She trained me well and you can train yourself too. Because if you don’t have the few extra minutes each day to put things away, you may be overscheduled. And that is a bird of an entirely different feather.

if you don't have the few extra minutes each day to put things away, you may be overscheduled. Click To Tweet

It’s As Simple As That

We can KonMari or join a decluttering challenge or use any number of other methods, but basically, they are all aimed at finding a place for all of our stuff.

It’s just as easy to put something away where it belongs as where it doesn’t.

Thanks mom.

What is the best organizing advice you ever received? Who gave you the advice? Share please!


Great Decluttering Books

Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul by Ruth Soukup

Simple Yet Essential Organizing Advice

Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life by Peter Walsh

New Order: A Decluttering Book for Creative People (and Everyone Else) by Fay Wolf

Simple Yet Essential Organizing Advice

Other Decluttering Posts

12 Unbelievably Easy Items to Declutter Now

A Professional Organizer Shows How to Declutter a Bookshelf

What You Must Do Before You Organize Anything

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Professional Home Organizer

I'm so excited you stopped by my blog! I'm passionate about helping others achieve peaceful lives through organization. I want to help you have less stress and more time for the things you love! Let's get started!

13 Responses

  1. Janet Barclay

    You are lucky to have such a smart mother. 🙂

    • Daria Harvey

      Yep! She sure is! My teens were using at least one washcloth a day and I told her once I was folding 30 washcloths and she said “Good Lord! Don’t fold them! Stuff them in one of those trash bag organizers!” Mind Blown Again. 🙂

  2. Lori Verni

    I agree! There is a lot of time I “don’t” spend searching for things because they do have a home! The hard part is figuring out what to get rid of when I buy new things and they will no longer all fit in the home!

    • Daria Harvey

      You are saving yourself hours of time Lori! It’s hard sometimes not to buy new things, that is true. That’s why I try to avoid Marshalls and Home Goods if I can! Lol!

  3. Olive Wagar

    I love the simplicity of this advice!! And having only one place to look for any particular item is quick, easy, & efficient. It also helps you set limits so you don’t buy too much of one thing. Thanks for posting to POBC!!

    • Daria Harvey

      Thank you Olive! Sometimes simple is best, right? I appreciate your visit to the blog and that you took the time to comment!

  4. Safaniya Stevenson

    My biggest downfall is taking time to put things where they belong. Especially my jewelry and clothing. I have great jewelry organizers and somehow at the end of the week I just end of with piles of stuff through the bedroom and bathroom. It’s all because I don’t take the time to re-clasp the necklace and hang it up… how lazy is that?! :\

    • Daria Harvey

      You are not alone in that Safaniya! You are probably very tired at the end of the day. Try committing to one week of putting away your clothing and jewelry at the end of the day. My guess is at the end of the week you’ll be so glad there aren’t piles everywhere that you’ll make it a habit. Let me know if that works for you!

  5. Leslie

    That’s a pretty good one and one I heard and share with my little one as well: everything has a home, pick it up, put it away.
    It helps me at the end of the day!

    • Daria Harvey

      Love the rhyme Leslie! Just think-someday your kids will be saying that to THEIR kids!!

  6. Trudy Vandeventer

    I have no place to put things away. No storage. At all. I have purged, and purged , and purged and still cannot find places for everything. It drives me crazy. Any advice?

    • Daria Harvey

      Trudy, I’m sorry you are frustrated with your lack of storage space. Without knowing what type of place you are living in, I would say that the places most people overlook for space are the back of doors and vertical space. Perhaps there is space at the top of a closet for another shelf? Also, I swear by over the door shoe pocket holders. I have them on practically every door in the house: On the coat closet for cords, small umbrellas, extra headphones etc; over my kids’ bathroom closet door for hair products, extra q-tips etc; my son has one on the back of his closet door for all his computer stuff, gift cards, running spikes-you name it. Check out the product I am talking about here: over the door shoe pockets Let me know if that helps and feel free to find me on facebook and ask more questions and post a picture!

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