Introduction: How NOT to Forget Where Things Are

Ever have a hard time finding things? It's frustrating, annoying, and incredibly difficult to dig through piles and piles of junk to find what you're looking for. If you have recently reorganized or cleaned a space, you may even discover that you've forgotten where you relocated something!

In four easy steps, learn to organize your stuff so you can find everything with ease! By creating a catalogue of your stuff, you can reference the catalogue whenever you need to find something. Say goodbye to junk-rummaging for good!


  • a printer (or a few sheets of paper if you don't have one)
  • pen or pencil
  • masking tape

Step 1: Print the Templates

Print the attached templates, or draw your own on a few pieces of paper. Easy!

Step 2: Categorize Your Stuff

First step: know what you are going to organize. You may only have a vague idea, in which case it would be a good idea to take a peek at the mess.

In the boxes on the Categorizer template, write down the main categories of stuff that you will be organizing. These are broad categories, for example, clothes, toys, kitchen stuff, decorations, etc. I will use clothes as an example.

Next, list down some subcategories. For example: coats, costumes, tops, or bottoms.

Finally, you can get a bit specific. Under each subcategory is space to list a few particular items. Don't go all-out here, most of this part will be filled in during the cleaning process. A few examples for coats include winter coats, mom's coats, etc.

With this categorizer sheet, you can easily note down what each box, bin, bag, etc. contains. If it contains a mix of everything, you would use the "clothes" category. If it just contains coats, use "coats". If only winter coats, then use "winter". As another bonus, categorizing your stuff gives you a clearer picture about how you could potentially sort everything.

Step 3: Time to Start Organizing!

Get a roll of masking tape, a pen, the Categorizer, the Organizer, and go tackle your messy stuff (whether you are throwing things out, preparing for a yard sale, or just reorganizing).

On your Organizer sheet, write down the room for "location," such as garage, guest room, furnace room, etc. No need to repeat for each row.

After you've finished organizing each box, bag, closet, drawer, or even cabinet, use a small piece of masking tape and label with a number (hide it from plain sight if you do not want it to be visible). Write that number on the Organizer sheet.

Jot down the appropriate category under "contents"; you might have to add a few more specific categories on the Categorizer sheet.

Then, on the Organizer sheet, add a note or two to jog your memory. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! For example, in a box of mom's coats, you find that the red coat is very eye-catching. Write down "red" after "mom's". This way, when you are looking for mom's summer jacket, you see "red", and suddenly, you remember that you put it with the red coat. ALWAYS NOTE DOWN THE MOST MEMORABLE OBJECT(S).

Step 4: Now You're All Set...

The very final step, is to put the Categorizer and Organizer somewhere you will remember. Perhaps you even want to label and note down where you put these sheets of paper, just for fun. (Also, writing it down will aid your memory.) After all, it's no use if you can't find these documents!

Declutter Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Declutter Speed Challenge