You CAN Take it With You

Penny the Pack Rat called me up today.  She had one particular problem that needed solving.  Penny told me, "I always have piles popping up around that house that are things that need to go someplace else.... the car, upstairs, to a store....  but, I never remember to move them.  Help!"

Well, Penny's in luck!  I have a couple ideas up my sleeve. 

1)  Keep a basket of some kind near the door you use most often. As you're cleaning up and organizing the house, toss items that should go out the door with you in this basket. Returns to stores, items to take to someone else, reusable grocery bags. Even the garbage can go near this basket so you don't forget to toss it next time you leave. If it's by the door and the things you always take with you (wallet, keys, phone), there's no good excuse not to grab them before you lock the door behind you.

2)  If toys and clothes keep making mysterious piles at the tops or bottoms of staircases around the house, you're halfway there.  If only those things could walk themselves up/down the steps and into the room where you want them to live!  It might be easier to have another basket at one end of the steps.  Fill it with things waiting to make their way to another floor of the house while you're organizing that floor. Then, when you - or anyone else in the house - uses the stairs next, grab an armful or the whole basket. Deliver items to at least the room where it belongs.  Worry about getting them into their specific homes later, if need be.

3)  Make it as user friendly as possible, for the whole house. That means that the bins should leave room to walk around and past, as well as be light enough to move and pick up.  If you'd like your housemates to contribute to the organizing efforts, make sure they can lift the baskets, too.  Most importantly, explain what the baskets are for and what things should or shouldn't go in them.  Get everyone involved, because chances are, it's every one's stuff - not just yours!

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