How to organize everything

A place for everything

Part 1: A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Literally, one by one, find effective places for the things you use through the day, and put them back there every single time. Start immediately and take your time. Let organizing build at your own comfortable pace.

A perfect place is easily accessible, and not in the way of anything else. Put your keys on a hook near the door, not on a table where things always get moved around. Don’t put two sets of keys on the same hook, one will get in the way of the other.

You’ll recognize a perfect place by the small feeling of relief you get from having one less thing to worry about. It’s a real feeling, easily noticed when you look for it. Use that as your guide.

Take into account how often an item is used. A perfect place for car keys is in easy reach as you go out the door. Superglue that you use once a year can go at the back of the tool drawer, further from your daily routine. This leaves less clutter, and more places for frequently used things.

Finding perfect places is a progressive activity. Don’t wait or overthink. Find the best spot at the moment, see how that goes, improve as you see fit.

Resist dramatic efforts. Start with the next thing you use. Avoid attempts at a total reorganization of your entire home, office, workshop, or wherever. Also, don’t buy closet organizing systems, sets of bins, or any other distractions. After a while, you’ll know exactly what you need, and how big to go.

Keep it simple. Being organized means doing less. It’s a process, a way to do things, not an end result.

Pause for a moment to consider the meaning and spirit of Part 1—it takes about one minute to reread it—then continue to Part 2.