A Place for Everything

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By: Tanya Klein

Q: I hope you can help me with this interesting problem I have.

While I’m pretty organized, and live by the motto of “a place for everything and everything in its place”, there is one group of items that I’m just not sure how to store. These are the things which are in my house temporarily, but need to be going to places outside my home.

For instance:

A.     Library books

B.     A watch that needs repaired.

C.     A headband that my daughter’s friend left at our house.

D.     A pair of shoes that need to be returned to the store.

Where can I create a temporary holding space for these items in my home?


A: I have come across this issue so many times that I’ve actually put together an easy system for my clients to use so that all of these “temporary” items are stowed neatly away until you are ready to take care of them:

  1. We need to find a space near your entryway where we can put some bins. That place can either be the shelf in your coat closet that is near your door, or if you have room, you can buy a small cube system for this purpose and place it near the door.

  2. If you are using a shelf in the closet, measure the shelf for 3 or 4 bins (depending on how many you need; each household is different). If you are using a cube system, buy the inserts for the cubes.

  3.   Label each bin according to your needs.  So, you would have one bin that says “library”, one that says “repairs”, one that says “returns”, and one that says “lost and found”. (Many times, people have “car” items that need to go out into the car, so I recommend that they add a “car” bin as well. For instance, you brought in your car charger by mistake, and it needs to go back out to the car.)

  4. Start by putting all the items in their matching bins. You will be pleasantly surprised as you notice that you are no longer panicking when you find a library book lying around and don’t know what to do with it. Instead, you will confidently march over to the designated bin and put the book in it, so that it will be safely stowed away, and won’t get lost in your home.

  5.  When you are leaving your house to go on errands, look through the bins and take the errand items along with you!

How easy is that? Thanks so much for reaching out to me.  I would love to hear if this idea helps you!

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Tanya Klein

is a Professional Organizer Extraordinaire. Driven by a need for order, Tanya is committed to creating spaces that allow life to be about living. Using her extensive years of experience as an administrative professional in medical offices and nonprofits (and let’s not forget a full-time working mom of 8!), Tanya is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to staying organized. After years of suffering from undiagnosed ADD, Tanya anchored herself by focusing on creating systems that worked for her, and she now works to help others achieve the same success. She can be reached at tanya@precisionorganizing.net or by calling 443-956-2522.

Rochel LazarKlein; Tanya