Worth repeating: The importance of a place for everything

19 October 2020

The importance of a place for everything

I wrote this post four years ago when we were in the midst of a kitchen renovation. The disorientation that losing access to your kitchen brings is real. But, of course, it’s worth it. We love our new kitchen. Re-reading this post today about the importance of having a place for everything made me want to share it again, because it’s such a universal truth.

My husband and I are in the midst of a kitchen renovation. If you’ve ever done that, you know how disruptive it can be. We’re lucky in that we actually have a spare kitchen to use. (We live in a two-family house, but no longer rent out the downstairs apartment.) Still, despite my best efforts to organize the downstairs kitchen for our temporary use, everything feels topsy turvy.

This has led to two realizations on my part:

  • The kitchen really is the heart of the home. Take it away and you feel adrift.
  • When you don’t have a place for everything, you really can’t maintain order.

I’m a naturally messy person, as I’ve written here many times. I don’t mind a little disorder around me. But I’ve come to learn that the critical component to maintaining my sanity amidst disorder is that I know where everything goes and know I can put it away swiftly.

Right now, we have items that usually belong in the upstairs kitchen (our main kitchen) and need to reside on the second floor that I just can’t find a home for. So the dining room table and a desk remain cluttered, despite my efforts. We’re slowly getting into a groove (we’ve been out of our kitchen a week). Just getting out the door has been challenging because we’re accustomed to exiting from the back staircase off the upstairs kitchen and that’s where items like our keys, my purse and dog-walking paraphernalia used to reside. For a little while, until we established a new place for them, we’d walk all over the house looking for those items.

The whole experience has given me new-found empathy for my clients who struggle because they don’t have a place for everything and therefore can’t find anything. And it’s made me understand the relief they feel when we help them establish a place for everything so they can put things away.

So far, the renovation is on schedule and (knock wood) we’ll be back in our kitchen by the end of the month. I cannot wait to unpack our kitchen stuff into the new space. (I created a spreadsheet detailing where everything’s going to go.) I’ll probably enlist the help of one or more professional organizers to help me organize my kitchen when that happy day comes.

Here’s the bottom line. The adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place” is truly the key to a peaceful life for me. If you’re not living it, I encourage you to do what you can to get there! (Here’s a hint: the first step is usually decluttering!)

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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