06

Give everything a home.

What you need:

10 Minutes
A Notepad
Everyone

What, Why, When

Having a set place for everything builds good habits, creates calm throughout the home, and helps you remember where it all is.
Follow the exercise below to figure out where items that tend to cause clutter or go missing really belong. The story below shows how the questions can help you get more realistic about where an item should go, based on what context you use it in and how often.

Who uses the item?

What is it used for?

When do you access this item?

Why do you have it?

How often do you use it?


Here’s a story from a professional organizer we've worked with since the inception of Open Spaces to help illustrate how we can re-think expectations to organize more effectively.

Frequent Traveler

Hudson, NY

A few years ago I worked with a client who traveled a lot for work. They always brought home hotel soaps and shampoos because whenever they traveled with their partner they stayed in Airbnbs which rarely have this stuff. Soon enough, their bathroom was full of little soaps that they never used. Together, we sat down to uncover the answers to who, what, when, why, and how.

Who uses the item?
Me and my partner.

What do you use it for?
Whenever we travel I take some with me.

When do you access this item?
Before going on a trip.

Why do you have it?
For when we travel and stay in places that don’t have this stuff so I collect it to be more economical.

How often do you use it?
Whenever we travel so at least every other month.

The Solution:
To free up space in the bathroom we consolidated all of the little soaps and shampoos in a bin that they kept in the same closet as their suitcase. Whenever they came back from a work trip they could add to their collection and access it easily before a trip without cluttering up their bathroom.
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