Like with like … that’s all I’m sayin’


Liz Jenkins


I’ve been organizing for such a while now that I sometimes worry that what I’m harping on explaining to my clients is too simplistic or should be obvious.  Then I realize, usually from either the glazed look in their eyes or the look of awe and wonder, that yes, I need to explain that we group items together that are alike.

Here’s what I find a lot when I start a project:

  • lots of stuff packed in boxes or on shelves
  • random items strewn around that were never put away (mostly because there wasn’t a place to put them)
  • drawers crammed full of things
  • comments of “oh, I wondered where that was!” or “I forgot we even had that!”

Here’s what you do:

  • empty out the areas full of stuff
  • group items together that have a common theme
  • discard any items you don’t need or want
  • contain the items in a bin or basket or on a shelf or in some manner where they are together

The key here is LIKE WITH LIKE.  This means put the pens with the pens, the sweaters with the sweaters, the serving platters with the serving platters.

Now it’s ok to mix pens and pencils (both writing instruments) or have a bin with office supplies such as tape, scissors and post it notes.  But the key is usage.  If you use items for a similar purpose – then group them together and store them together.

Being organized is about finding what you need when you need it.  Grouping like with like and storing them in logical places (read: where you use it) makes this happen.