Deciding Where to Put Everything

Content Updated October 3, 2007

An organized home has a place for everything and everything is put in its place, but where should everything go?

Planning Centers

Remember how your kindergarten teacher had the “imaginative play center,” the “art center,” the “blocks center,” the “reading center,” and so forth. This is exactly the way you should organize your home (and you just thought you learned about the alphabet in kindergarten). First, figure out what centers you will have in your home, yard, and garage. Here are some center ideas to stimulate your brain:

  • Home workstation center (visit Making a Home Workstation for more information)
  • Homework center
  • Craft center
  • Hobby center
  • Music center
  • Entertainment center
  • Reading center
  • Gardening center
  • Exercise center
  • Sports center
  • Automotive center
  • Woodworking center
  • Pet center
  • Baking center
  • Baby / Kid eating center
  • Beauty center

It’s okay to have duplicate items in different centers (such as printer paper in both the home workstation center and the craft center for your kids) because it cuts down on the amount of time you need to go hunting for something when you need it, but just make sure you don’t borrow items from one center for another center and forget to put them back. It makes sense to have your automotive center in the garage, your baking center in the kitchen, and so forth, but many centers may work in a variety of locations. For example, your exercise center may be more convenient in the family room or you may want to hide it in a bedroom, so it doesn’t clash with your interior decorating. Look at each center that you want to create and decide where it will best serve you and your family within your home, yard, or garage.

Put things where you need them

Obviously the items in your centers will be where you need them, but what about items that don’t necessarily fit into one of our centers. For example, some of us have a hall closet filled with towels, toilet paper, bed sheets, and cleaning items, and this is an effective way to ensure that everything can be found without too much trouble, but this isn’t always a very useful system, let’s say when you discover that you’re out of toilet paper while you’re on the toilet or need a towel while you’re naked in the shower with soap running into your eyes. A better solution is to put things where they will be used. Each bathroom should have a supply of toilet paper, towels, soap, and so forth. Each bedroom should have a place to put the sheets and blankets that are used in that bedroom (an under-bed box or decorative chest make a perfect storage places for such things). Another benefit to this is that when you have guests, you’re guests can help themselves to what they need rather than having to ask you where the toilet paper is at 3 am. This also clears out that linen closet, so you can use it for other things.

Display Collections and Sentimental Items

What’s the point of having them if you don’t look at them. Set up display shelves to present your precious items.