Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes
To get the most benefit out of organizing your space, you’ll need to get crystal clear on the organizing concept of NEAR and FAR. If you practice this one organizing principle, you’ll be far less frustrated and tired about your stuff. Think Sesame Street’s Grover…
- If you use something EVERY DAY, then it deserves a space NEAR where it is used. And, you should probably leave it out in plain view. (Think of your toothbrush, cell phone, coffee maker, or keys.)
- If you use something RARELY, IF EVER, then it deserves a safe, appropriate long-term storage space FAR away from your primary living space. And, it should definitely be well out of sight, if not off-site. (Think of Christmas decorations in the attic, an ancestor’s preserved wedding dress for future descendant’s use on a guest room closet’s top shelf, or a college student’s furniture over the summer in a climate controlled storage facility.)
Those are the two bookends of NEAR and FAR. Let me share with you what is in between… the GRAY area.
- NEAR (see #1 at the top) – things you use EVERY DAY. See the top of this post, item #1.
- JUST OUT OF ARM’S REACH – things you use a FEW TIMES A MONTH. These items should not occupy what I call your “prime real estate.” For example, if we’re talking about your home office, and the items in question are your monthly bills files and your checking account bank statements. These items are very important, but they should not be on the flat surface of your desk directly in front of your computer monitor. That’s your work space. If it is too cluttered on a daily basis, it is hard to keep track of what paper needs to be processed when. And, things get lost. These files should be just out of arm’s reach, perhaps in a rolling crate, portable plastic bin with a lid, or a file drawer.
- UP HIGH OR DOWN LOW OR IN THE BACK – things you use a FEW TIMES A YEAR. These items should be behind closed doors (closet, cabinet or drawer) and should be in a part of that space that is less accessible to you. For example, if you are shorter than average, you will want to put these lesser used items on the top shelves of cabinets or in the back of a deep drawer. Or, if you have bad knees and find it hard to bend to look for your items, you will want to put these lesser used items on bottom shelves of lower cabinets.
- FAR – things you use ONCE A YEAR or only a FEW TIMES EVERY FEW YEARS. See the top of this post, item #2.
If you begin to arrange your space using this principle, you’ll be amazed at how much time and frustration you will save yourself. And, cleaning will take less time because there isn’t as much stuff out to have to clean around. Bonus!
Humor always helps me remember things better. So, I wanted to share with you Sesame Street’s Grover teaching us the concept of NEAR and FAR. His exasperation at the end of this short video is priceless – and a great reminder of how our stress and exhaustion levels can rise quickly, if we don’t follow this simple organizing principle. You can do this.
Hello, my name is Tina Bonifacio, and I am a Professional Organizer working with residential and commercial clients in the greater Savannah, Georgia area. For more information, visit http://www.OrganizedByTina.com. Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome back anytime.