Making it as easy as possible should be your number one priority when thinking about the how and where of storage in your home – and this is the reason why….
The need drives you on…
When you set out to get a space organised, it’s usually because there is an issue in that space currently. You are drawn to this space as there is a need for getting it organised over all the other spaces in your home.
Something isn’t working as you want or need it to – and something needs to change.
The need for order pulls you in – and that need is strong enough (usually!) to drive you to get it done.
And it’s the same in day to day life
We are much more likely to get things done in any part of our lives if there is a strong need to do so.
For example, you may have a need for food – which drives you to cook or prepare something. You may have a need to get somewhere in the morning, which drives you to wake up earlier etc….
Having the need drives us in life daily.
When it comes to getting organised, understanding where the need is strongest, and consequently where it is the weakest, will really help.
Where is the need the strongest?
If you think about your day to day chores – you usually have a strong need to get things out of cupboards and drawers:-
- You want to wear something
- You want to use something
- You want to read something
- You want to cook something
- You want to check something
The list goes on – but every single time there is a need for getting something out – you never just go to the cupboard and pick something at random (I assume!).
And as such, it’s sort of irrelevant how hard it is to get out of the place it’s stored. You need it and therefore you WILL get it.
The need drives you on.
Where is the weakest need?
Conversely, the moment you have finished with something it has fulfilled its need for you, and therefore anything that happens to that item after that is not important to you any longer.
There is usually little, or no, need to tidy it away.
Because of this lack of need, that’s where issues can easily start in a home – and there is an easy fix that can help.
Make putting it away the easy part
If it’s easy to put things away, then we are more likely going to do it.
Whereas when we are getting something out, the need drives us to rummage around if necessary and struggle to pull something out of the back of a cupboard – we simply won’t bother with doing all this for the sake of putting it away – it’s just too much hassle!
But how do you do this?
Firstly I would always suggest creating a place for everything and labelling the space as well. This is the reason that complicated storage systems can sometimes be your undoing when it comes to getting organised.
Basically – you want to keep it as simple as possible for everyone.
Ideas for easy storage with this in mind are:-
- Baskets for toys so that they can simply be thrown in at the end of play time
- Open topped containers rather than lidded – takes away one step to putting things back
- Give everything enough space when stored so that other things don’t fall out, or you find it hard to open cupboard doors etc….
- Use less specific file names in a filing cabinet
- Thin out clothes in a wardrobe so you don’t have to fight and squash things in to put things back
Let’s take the filing as an example:-
If it’s quick and easy to ad a piece of paperwork to a file, then it’s a quick task that you fight less against doing.
You can get it filed in under a minute, so it gets done straight away and you don’t get left with a pile of filing that seems overwhelming to do.
You can do this by firstly putting your filing cabinet where you tend to sort out your paperwork, and secondly by creating less specific files such as “CAR” and “SCHOOL”.
Having too many file categories can hinder progress as you can spend far too much time deciding which file is most appropriate, and also it takes longer to find it!.
Yes, you may take a little longer when you need to get your MOT certificate out, looking through the CAR file – but this will take a few more seconds/minutes only, and you won’t mind as there will be the need to find it at that point (and you will be less likely to have to spend loads of time searching through the massive TO FILE pile, as that won’t exist any longer!).
You have basically made the easy part of the process where the most resistance would be, and where there is the least need to do it.
Do you make it difficult to put stuff away in your home? Are there piles waiting to be put away constantly dotted around the house? Do you think creating easy ways of putting things away will help?
Next time you are looking at setting up a system for something in your home, think about making putting things back the easy part – you really will notice a difference!