10 TIPS to Save Time Looking for Your Stuff

To Do List

Here’s a good quote – not sure who wrote it.

“If you don’t put things away now, you waste time searching for them later.”

Do you waste time looking for missing items? Not being able to find something quickly and efficiently definitely puts a dent into your schedule. Like, spending ten minutes before you have to leave for work searching for your car keys, or looking in the pile of mail and bills to locate the parking ticket you want to contest at the parking/permit office. Big time waster? You know it!

Follow the 10 TIPS I recommend below to stop wasting time looking for your stuff:

1. Put it where it belongs right away. Don’t just put it down anywhere and add to the clutter. Putting one item away at a time keeps the piles from building up.

2. Was the item you are using really close to where it was kept? If so, just remember to put it back where it belongs. This will save you a lot of time later on.

3. Maintain a common place for similar items. Store ‘like with like’ and it will be easier for you to find and to put back.

4. Take just 15 minutes each day to straighten up. It’s much easier to do a little bit each day than to have to spend a lot of time all at once.

5. Designate certain areas for ‘no clutter zones’. This means – don’t put anything in this spot. If you dump stuff onto the bench near the front door, or on the kitchen counter, clear one of these areas off and claim it as a ‘no clutter zone’ meaning no one, even yourself can put anything there.

6. Rule: Do not leave dishes in the sink! Set household rules for the family to follow and respect; be it no dishes in the sink, or any backpacks, etc on the kitchen table.

7. Stop making piles. Piles are your downfall. Notes, papers, mail all get lost in piles. Clean clothing and dirty clothing get mixed up in piles. Even if you say you know where everything is, it will still take you time to route through those piles for the item you are looking for.

8. Keep a recycling bin close to where you sort out the real mail from the junk mail. Tossing the junk mail into this bin will prevent those piles from accumulating.

9. Move a garbage can close to where you are cleaning or working, instead of cluttering up your desk, bathroom, or kitchen with trash items because you just can’t reach the trash receptacle.

10. Don’t print out paper. Go virtual. You will probably never look again at most of the papers you keep. Printers and paper scanners are not too expensive these days. Scan the documents, receipts, bills into your computer or lap top and then back them up.

If you follow these 10 steps, when you next go looking for something, it will be right where you put it!

Are there certain items you waste time looking for? What are they?

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