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This One Organizing Mistake Is Wasting Your Time

storage mistake

In my opinion, there aren’t many “mistakes” you can make when it comes to organizing. No one method of organizing will work equally well for everyone, because no two homes are exactly the same!

But there is at least one organizational blunder that I would label as a “mistake,” if only because it seems to defy common sense! But this mistake is so common (even in my own house!) that I thought it would be useful for me to address it in today’s blog post. :-)

Related: 7 Ways You Self-Sabotage While Organizing

For more tips and tricks that will help you get organized, check out my e-book Get It Together! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

storage mistake

The Worst Organizing Mistake You Can Make

So what is this common organizing mistake, you ask? It’s the act of storing an item outside of the space where you use it most frequently.

Retrieving things from around the house is often a deeply ingrained habit, so it may not even occur to you that you’re doing it! To find out if you might need to reevaluate where you store things, just make a note on your phone every time you leave an area to grab something you need.

Do this for a week or so, then review your list at the end of the week. It should give you a pretty clear idea of how you could correct your organizing mistake!

Additionally, check out the tips below for storage ideas that will save you some time and effort!

Related:  Sick And Tired Of Clutter? Here’s The Easiest Way To Fix It

9 Ways To Store Things Where You Use Them

storage mistake

1. Hand Tools

Find yourself making small household repairs in the kitchen or at the dining table? Keep a small set of hand tools nearby and save yourself the trip out into the garage!

storage mistake

2. Scissors

Scissors can come in handy all over the house, so stuffing them in a drawer in your home office may not be the best way to go! If possible, keep a few pairs of scissors around the house in useful locations, like the kitchen and living room.

storage mistake

3. Contact Case

If your contacts are bothering you, it can be a pain to go all the way upstairs to the master bathroom to get your case and contact solution. It might be more handy to keep them in the downstairs guest bathroom instead!

storage mistake

4. Lotion

Dry skin can run rampant during the winter, and having lotion tucked away in a bathroom may discourage you from using it when you need it! Keep it somewhere more central so you can use it as needed, or stash a few different bottles around the house.

storage mistake

5. Laundry Hamper

Laundry hampers shouldn’t be relegated to the laundry room! The best place for a hamper is wherever clothes tend to pile up (even if that means having several different hampers!)

storage mistake

6. Cleaning Wipes

Do you frequently cross the house to grab your container of cleaning wipes? Consider placing a few different containers in the rooms you use them most.

Or at the very least, consider storing them in a more central and convenient location!

storage mistake

7. Stamps

If you typically pay bills or write letters in the same place, it makes sense to keep your stamps there too! Keep a stash of stamps and envelopes handy so you don’t have to go searching for them every time.

storage mistake

8. Reading Glasses

For me, the most difficult part of adjusting to using reading glasses has been keeping them with me! I’m still trying to break the habit of setting them down somewhere and then immediately forgetting where I put them.

In the meantime, I just keep a couple of pairs of reading glasses handy. Since our house isn’t very big, it means I can usually find a pair quickly enough when I need them!

storage mistake

9. Dishes

If you have china or other fragile dishes, you most likely use them infrequently enough that you can store them in the dining room (or anywhere else outside the kitchen.) But when it comes to everyday dishes, the best place for them is whichever cupboard is closest to the dishwasher!

It may not seem like a big deal, but it makes unloading the dishwasher faster and easier!

What’s one thing in your house that could be stored in a better location?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • I use a cutlery drainer under the sink with a hammer, pair of pliars, a flat and a cross thread screwdriver, plus a small pouch of essentials (screws, hooks, cable ties etc) in it so they are handy for unexpected DIY jobs so I don’t have to go far to get them. As someone else mentioned I would never keep these in the cutlery drawer for hygiene reasons.

  • I thought everyone already does this. I keep a box of tissues, a waste paper bin, a pair of scissors, and a pair of reading glasses in every room (and in my car!) A set of screwdrivers in different places, also wipes and brushes, and lip balm and dog and cat treats in strategic places …Oh yes, pens too…the list goes on.

  • I have small hands so I keep “school scissors” in various places including my purse. They have
    blunt ends but will do the trick most instances. Plus my husband can’t get his fingers in the
    holes to use them so no more disappearing scissors.

  • Whenever I did a manicure, I’d have to go to the bathroom to dig out all my supplies. Since I usually sit at the kitchen counter to do it, I moved everything to a small box and keep it in a cabinet below the island.

  • As far as reading glasses, why not attach them to an eyeglass chain and wear it around your neck? There are some really pretty ones now made out of beads, etc.

  • I keep tools in the kitchen but in the drawer with pens, pencils etc., not in the same section as something that goes in my mouth like the corn holders in the photo. Tools get dirty!

  • I’ve always done this. I’m disabled to I try to save myself going elsewhere in the house as much as possible. I have many things in atypical places as a result.

    • My husband and I both have disabilities so we do lots of these and more, the less micro- movements my husband makes the less pain he is in so we have Many things in arms reach.
      Also I keep postage stamps in my address book, I know where they are then.

  • Oh my goodness! I am amazed that people have one pair of scissors or one box of tissues in the house! I have boxes of tissues in every room and one by the chair I sit in most often! Scissors all over the house. Step stools where I use them most often. It’s the little things in life that can make life a little easier/less frustrating!

  • Something that people, at first, laugh about…I keep a box of tissues in every room. It’s so much easier that second that you need one. Now they make the little boxes with nice designs so you don’t have to cover them and you can match your rooms nicely.

  • I keep a small pair of scissors and a pin cushion in my closet Scissors for cutting off tags from new clothes, new shoes and stray threads. The pin cushion for safety pins.

  • Good Morning and Happy New Year! Wow. This is genius. I already do many of these things, but one hit me on the head! I am forever having to go over to my purse to DIG OUT a pair of clippers and/or an emery board for a rough nail. I had a FREE little kit up on my nightstand just sitting there–with clippers, emery boards and cuticle scissors. I put the cute little kit in my KITCHEN drawer! I can’t wait to get a hangnail!!!!

  • Jillee is right and this is such a great tip. I recently moved and my new place had a lot more kitchen cabinets. I decided to set up my kitchen conveniently. I picked which counter I would use to do my meal prep, put all my cutting boards, knives, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, spatulas, etc. in the cabinets above and below. Cabinets near my coffee pot hold coffee cups, sweeteners, extra coffee, tea bags, etc.. Pots, pans and cooking utensils are in the cabinet and drawer next to the stove. Dishes and silverware are across from the dishwasher. I also put supplies in both bathrooms and scissors in three rooms. What a time saver this has been!

  • Happy New Year! I love your tips and secrets – thank you for them all! I also keep scissors in just about every room, including both bathrooms (along with a pair of reading glasses for that fine print on bottles).

  • Happy New Year everyone! 2020 will be the year of perfect vision (I can’t take credit for that, I’m just sharing). In the console of my double recliner I keep: a box of tissues, lip balm, an emery board, a phone charger, and cat treats. I love my recliner and so does my dog

  • thank you Jillee. Hope the year has started well for you. All good wishes to you and your family. Still trying to be tidy and I am 81…. While there is life, there is hope he he he

    • Isn’t it a fabulous thing that we’re all still hopeful then? I abide by most of Jillee’s suggestions but I am wanting in the cat treat department. I dole out treats from the living room couch but keep the container in the kitchen (where it belongs!). But after reading this savvy article I think I’ll dump some into a baggy and keep that in my coffee table’s tiny drawer –which is already full of extra scotch tape, scissors, stamps, pens, sharpies, lip balm, nail clipper, nail file–uh you get the picture right?? heheee Happy New Decade y’all =D

      • I’d use a container rather than a baggie! They are thin enough that the cat might smell them and try to claw or chew through the bag and might ingest some plastic in the process. Or at least make a big mess and get too many treats at once. The dollar store has small containers for cheap.

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