Clutter control is easy when each system gets it’s own space.
One of the key concepts in organizing is to gather like things together.
It’s a great concept and works in any situation. The problem is that it might be too easy, and when something is too easy people start second guessing it.
Second guesses lead to paralysis more often than to success. In this case, the guessing comes in 2 forms.
1. What constitutes like things? How exactly alike do the things need to be? Should the category be larger to incorporate more, or smaller to eliminate some?
2. What constitutes together? When something doesn’t fit, do I have to change the location, or buy a contraption to squeeze it in? Not knowing can lead to too many exceptions, and that tanks the whole effort.
It might help to look at like things together in terms of a system. Keeping what you need to do the work within a system together and adjacent to the other systems that interact with it keeps things simple.
Your money system would include the notebook or computer program you use to track your money, the checkbooks and credit cards, the passwords for the accounts, the list of accounts, the invoices, the bills to pay, a calculator, some envelopes and stamps for the 2 bills that still need to be mailed.
Keeping all these things in the same area on your desk or counter allows the other systems that effect and are effected by the money system to also work more effectively. The address or contact list or program is right there for contacting, marketing materials and product are nearby awaiting the invoice to be shipped, the record of payment is right there when a client calls to confirm you received it. It’s all connected.
In the kitchen you can apply the same concept. There are some items that are used for both cooking and for baking. The measuring cups and spoons for instance. Set up your baking supplies on one side and the prep area on the other and keep the items used for both right in the middle or in the area you use more often and you always know where the 1/4 cup measure is when cooking dinner.
Art adhesives can be kept together and then used for collage, card making or dioramas. No need to keep separate versions for each kind of craft.
Keeping like things together gives you a starting point for defining the space, the home where certain items will live. It also allows you to see options when you are about to run out of something.
That way no matter what system you are working on, you will know where the needed item can be found and returned to when done even if that place is outside the system and closer tot eh place it usually gets used.
And yes, I realize I am contradicting the common tip of keep like things where you use them. It is easier to think about it as near where you use it.
Only once it is taking you more time to go get the item that you save by not having it in the way 98% of the time. Does it make sense to get a duplicate or move it closer?
Now that you have defined the spaces for the things you need to run your systems, you will know where to put things that you find around your space. Instant clutter control built right in.