Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: How to Organize Anything! Part 3: Decide Where Things Belong

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe was a great tool for making decisions when you were younger. However, this may not be the most effective method for helping you organize your space. Watch this video for the 3rd step in organizing any project- making decisions. Deciding where to place your items can be as difficult as catching a tiger by the toe. But, following these strategies will make your organizing project more effective and productive.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we have Part 3 of our five-part series on our general approach for any organizing project. This is the acronym “order.” We started with the “O” for Outline your plan, then we did “R” for Review your items, and now we’re talking about “D”, Decide where things belong.

Now, the truth is that “R” and “D,” reviewing and deciding, actually happens concurrently. So, as you’re reviewing and sorting and pulling everything out like we did in this example pantry that we’re doing, we are sorting and we’re making decisions as we sort. So, we’re deciding what category things go into. We’re also deciding whether we’re going to keep something, whether we’re going to donate it, we’re asking ourselves lots of questions about these items. So, one of those questions might be, “When is the last time I used this?” “What is the cost to replace this item if I were to get rid of it?” “What is a likely scenario that I can think of where I might actually use this item?” There are lots of things to think about and you’re going to end up with some general categories of stuff at the end. So, you’re going to make the decisions to keep and those things that are being kept are going to be in the categories that we talked about in the last video.

They might be sorted by type, by color, by function, whatever makes the most sense for you. You’re going to have things that go “elsewhere” in the house or given to other people. You’re going to have things that are obviously trash. And you’re going to have things you might want to sell or give to another person. You also are going to have a pile of donations. So hopefully, you have lots of that. But these are general things you’re going to end up with, and there are some tools that you can use to make these decisions easier.

Now, I want to point out that clutter – whether it’s mental clutter or it’s things that are physically laying around on your countertops – clutter is all about delayed decisions and delayed actions. So the more decisive you can be, the more organized you’re going to be. So here’s a little tool that we use, a little prioritizing tool, that we just call “ABCD.” I’ve made another video about this before. So you’re looking at the frequency of use and you’re also looking at places as ABC or D, as far as where they end up.

And we’re going to talk more about that in the next video. So an “A” thing would be like this cookbook from my friend Aviva. Obviously, I use it quite a bit, so I want this to be in an “A” place. A very accessible shelf, probably eye level, where I can grab it really fast. Then I have “B” things. These are just general food items usually in a pantry, that’s a pretty good example, re-fill items for things that you generally keep around. Then you have your “C” things. Things that you do use, but you might use them maybe once a year. So an example would be a seasonal thing. I have this tin that I use every year when my family makes caramel popcorn for Halloween. And that’s pretty much the only thing I use it for, but it’s the perfect tool for that. I need this just to be in a “C” location. Way up high, less accessible, I don’t need to be looking at this every day.

And then you’ve got your “D” things. And in a pantry, there are not that many examples of “D” things. In another project it might be – like an office – it might be tax records, or spare furniture. “D” things are things that you don’t use but you’re keeping for some good reason. So here I actually do have a “D” thing. It’s one of my grandmother’s Santa mugs. I have several of these, but this is one of the older ones that I actually don’t use because it’s a little too delicate. But of course, I’m keeping it. It’s a sentimental thing. So this is a “D” item for me. I’m going to have that up and away, again, less accessible just like the “C” things.

So, you can think about your items as you touch them and sort them as ABC or D, and that will help you make these decisions. If you need help making these decisions any further, you can get help from our Team on-line for about the price of a pizza. We help people unlimited in our Member Message Board area. We’ve helped thousands of people in 18 countries and you can find out more about that at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

Other videos in this series:
“O”- Outline Your Plan
“R”- Review Your Items
“E”- Establish Homes and Routines
“R”- Revisit Your System

You may have been searching for how to decide where to put things when organizing or tips for organizing projects.

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