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Keys in the laundry basket. A pile of shoes next to the entrance. Junk mail piles up on the kitchen counter among important mail. These are all clear signs that you need an organizing system. These signs are not only a little annoying, they also prevent you from living a more comfortable life. Without a system, finding your keys, picking out your shoes, or locating an important piece of mail becomes even more difficult. Implementing an organization system is more than just organization, it creates solutions to recurring problems that interfere with daily life.
The idea of systematizing an entire home can be overwhelming, says Rebecca Enberg, a substack organizing expert. “Your Home Machine”believes there are four ways to identify when an organizational system is needed. Rather than taking responsibility for your entire home, use these prompts to identify which areas of your home really need the system and work from there.
Similar family problems come up again and again.
“Why can’t I find my keys?” “Why did I lose my voter pamphlet?” “Where is my other shoe?” These are all asked in homes around the world. It’s a refrain. When the problem recurs, it’s the first sign that it’s time to design an organizational system.
That problem is bothering you (or someone else).
Some problems aren’t so bad. For example, my husband is a hat person. He wears his classic dad’s hat every day and keeps it around his house like a hidden Easter egg. He needs a hat so often that it doesn’t make sense to just keep his hat in his upstairs closet. I don’t see a problem with baseball caps scattered all over the house because neither I nor anyone else cares. But if home problems are plaguing you (or anyone else), it may be time to put a system in place. I hate to walk into a house and see shoes strewn about the front door. This small issue caused a lot of discussion, so I thought it was time to come up with a solution.
The things that are causing you problems are essential to your life.
The organizational system is best applied to essential items. For example, it would be nice to have a system for organizing a special brooch that he wears twice a year, but does not affect his daily life. However, systemizing your shoes, keys and toiletries will change the way you go out each day. When choosing which areas of your home to systemize, ask yourself how addressing the problem will affect your daily life. Maybe you’ll never lose your keys again, each member of your family will have the right pair of shoes on the doorstep, you won’t have to store junk mail, and important documents will be at your fingertips. These seemingly trivial things take up a lot of time and brain space, so making them easier can have a big impact on your life.
You have the power to actually deal with problems.
I lived in a house that was over 110 years old for many years. It was both beautiful and difficult. As a modern person, there were many things I wanted to change, but those changes were out of my wheelhouse and budget. Fortunately, though, you can create an organizational system without buying anything, or by purchasing or reusing a few low-cost items such as baskets and file boxes. Let’s start with the problems that can be addressed. If you have the power to make a change that positively impacts how you work at home, why not make a change?