Do You Have A Place for Everything?

A Place for Everything

Do you have a place for everything in your life?

Have you ever heard the saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”?

It’s a good goal, however not always easy to reach. It would be better if you said “locate the best place for everything.” For this advice to really work, storage spaces must fit the job they were designed for.
Here are a few tips to help put this saying to work for you:
  • Keep often-used items close at hand. The items you seldom or rarely use should be stored farther away. Think about standing at your kitchen sink or seated at your desk. Therefore items you use everyday or many time a day should be withing reaching distance on the counter or desk. Then items used less often can be located close by.
  • Group like items together. This will make it easier for you to find and put away everything. It’s so much easier to find a single item if you know that all of that type of items is located in one place and only one place. For instance, all food in your pantry or all you paperwork in your office. This may seem counter intuitive if you live in a large home, but it’s not.
  • Store items in the right containers. If you keep many small items in a large container, it becomes hard to retrieve what you are looking for. The correct sized containers are so important. They make maintaining your organizing systems faster and more efficient.
  • Label the outside of every container. You are communicating to yourself and others where (or exactly where) the items are stored. These works best in a pantry or file cabinet. Similarly, you can use this principle for children’s toys.

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After you learn this, another way of looking at it is using The Target Principle. Learn how we use this with our clients.


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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Janet Barclay on March 23, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Labeling makes such a difference! I have a set of shelves on top of the shelf in my bedroom closet so there’s lots of storage space, and writing what’s in the various boxes makes it easier and safer to get things down when they’re needed.

  2. Janet Schiesl on March 23, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Of the 4 tips I like labeling the best. People don’t realize what a difference it can make.

  3. Seana Turner on March 23, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I can’t agree enough with sizing your storage to the size of the item! So often I find large, gaping spaces filled with teeny, tiny items loosely sloshing around. It’s impossible be organized this way. You need to add structure that is proportional! Love these simple tips, and the Target Principle is terrific. Easy enough for anyone to understand and be mindful about!

    • Janet Schiesl on March 23, 2020 at 11:35 am

      Yes. I see this too. I think it happens when people purchase bins before they sort and purge. They like the bin, but it doesn’t function well for the purpose they bought it for. Also, lots of times bins can really add storage to shelves. I see a lot of dead space on shelving. Not being used correctly.

  4. Linda Samuels on March 23, 2020 at 11:37 am

    There is something so satisfying about finding the right size container for the items you’re grouping together. One of the things I love about The Container Store is getting inspired by various bins and boxes to use them in interesting ways.

    • Janet Schiesl on March 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      We are two peas in a pod! I love this as well. I keep information on any product reach I do so I can find that perfect container over and over.

  5. Sabrina Quairoli on March 23, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    The saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place” is one my dad and grandma would say all the time. I do agree with you though that the items need to be in the most convenient place and the organizing products to use must be appropriate for the items. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Nancy Haworth on March 25, 2020 at 10:40 am

    These are great tips! Now (with many people staying home due to COVID-19) is a good time to make sure everything in your home has a place!

    • Janet Schiesl on March 30, 2020 at 6:34 am

      Yes. It’s a good project for people at home.

  7. Deb Lee on March 25, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Sometimes we need the basics. Simple reminders that help us keep order. That’s why I love “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” It’s direct and memorable. 👌

    • Janet Schiesl on March 30, 2020 at 6:35 am

      I agree. It’s a mantra that people should live by.

  8. Ronni Eisenberg on March 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    These tips are the Bible of organization. Starting with a place for everything, a favorite of mine, it’s your assurance against losing things. Unless , of course, you have a senior moment .
    Storing this way really does work, starting with pre-schoolers.

  9. Janet Schiesl on March 30, 2020 at 6:38 am

    I always mention zones in a class room to clients. That is a concept that we all know.

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