Decluttering (Part 6) The Importance of Creating a “HOME” for Everything …

Decluttering … the Importance of Creating a Home for Everything


Welcome to Part 6 of the Decluttering Series. Here’s a list of what we’ve covered so far (click on each link to read):







Most of you will have heard the old saying “a home for everything and everything in its place”. It was drilled into me as a youngster and I’m certain it was one of Mum’s favourite sayings. Although I probably felt it was said far too often, now that I have my own home I understand why it’s so relevant and why Mum probably got so frustrated when it seemed we just didn’t listen when it came to putting our things away.


It’s really quite a simple principle though, so once you have decluttered a drawer, a cupboard, a room and eventually your whole house, everything you have decided to keep needs to be assigned a home … an “address” where every single item will live permanently. It’s not really difficult because you already do it to some degree but you just don’t realize it. Let me give you an example. All your knives, spoons and forks already “live” in the cutlery drawer. You take them out to use them for three meals every day, you might send a couple of these items off in school lunchboxes, you might loan some spoons when you take a dish to share at a friend’s barbecue, you’ll take them outside to a patio or deck when you eat outside and you will eventually put them in either the sink or dishwasher to be cleaned. But what happens after all of that movement and activity? … you return those items back to the cutlery drawer, the place where they originally came from or the place they call “home”. And if you were to find one just laying around “out of place” you would instinctively pick it up and put it where it belonged.


And that should really be the practice with every item in our home. Every item should be assigned a “home” or “place to live” and that’s where those items should be put every moment that they are not in use. It’s really that simple, and if we put that into practice, and teach our kids and other family members to do the same, then everything we own becomes easy to find and easy to put away. Items that don’t have a dedicated place or that don’t find their way “home”, well that’s the stuff that becomes clutter.


Another habit to try to avoid is “putting things away later” because that’s how piles of clutter begin. The piles start with only a few things, then more gets added and before long you have an overwhelming pile that could take hours or even days to clear. Get in the habit of putting things away immediately and returning things to their designated home. Once you can do this, the reward is that you will never lose things and you won’t ever waste time searching for things because they’re not where they are supposed to be.


So let’s sum up the process in a few words:


  • Get rid of unwanted or unnecessary “stuff”


  • Allocate everything else a “home”


  • Put things away immediately


and, if you can achieve this, it will all add up to a tidy, organised, uncluttered home!


So tell me, what’s your number one tip for clearing the clutter at your place?

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