Are Duplicates Standing In The Way Of Getting Organized?
How many bottles of shampoo are in your shower? How many tubes of toothpaste in the drawer? One of the common threads we see when helping people organize is duplication–opening and using multiple products at once. Whether it’s body wash or boxes of cereal, use one product fully before you open another. I’m not saying you can’t have 4 different kinds of cereal open at once (depending on how much space you have), but only one box of a particular kind should be opened at a time.
At work, office supplies become the culprit. How many pens, sticky notes and tape containers are in your drawers? I once worked with a client who had dozens of rolls of tape clogging up the drawers. Once he realized he had been over purchasing tape, the drawers were less cluttered and more organized.
Buying in bulk is another cause of the duplication dilemma. We over-stuff and over-store and wonder why we don’t have space! I don’t believe the savings is always worth the cost of your space. Be sure you have the space to store giant size products and/or all the extras before making the purchase. I like to suggest an “extras box” in the bathroom with a lid on it. Extra toothpaste, shampoos, etc… can go in the box. If you buy a few on sale, they have a separate holding zone until the current one is empty. In the kitchen keep extras behind the item currently in use (good way to make use of deep pantry shelves), or up high so they are harder to get to and further out of reach.
It boils down to awareness. We are so busy going about our routine and purchasing the basics that we don’t even think about how extra products can cram up and leave space over-stuffed and disorganized. Do a look through before heading to the store. Make sure your supply is near the end before buying the next bunch. The process of going through those areas from time to time to eliminate what’s not being used, and putting systems in place so extras don’t get mixed in with opened products. That’s is a key element to keeping it all organized!