Closed September 2017

Location, Location, Location: Find Important Things FAST!

Map2 In the organizing world we often tell people that everything should have a home, which is very good advice. Usually we’re speaking in generalities about how food goes in the pantry or toiletries go in the bathroom, but today I want to talk about very specific homes for very specific things.

Yesterday I was with someone who was taking me into the building where she works, and she had a very specific pocket in her purse where she always keeps her identification badge. I am currently traveling, and I thought of several similar examples in my own bag and suitcase where having an exact location for something is an incredible time-saver and provides immediate reassurance in moments of panic!

Here are some examples, both in traveling and at home, where having a VERY specific home for something is extremely wise:

  • Identification/passports: I carry a red vinyl see-through string-closure envelope from the office supply store that helps me locate my passport, especially handy when the family is traveling together and there are multiples. (Here is another good tip about managing your family’s passports on the road, and here’s a post with a photo of the string-closure envelope I mentioned.) I also keep that envelope in a specific pocket in my bag.
  • Keys: Put them on a hook or in a bowl by your door. Always, always, always.
  • Phone: Have a specific pocket in your bag for your phone, or holster it. When you get home always put your phone in one of 2-3 places (mine are by the back door, on my desk, or on my table in my bedroom). Now there are only a few places to look instead of everywhere!
  • Your quart-size bag of liquids for security: Carry this in a specific pocket so you can grab it quickly when you are going through the security line. 
  • Wallet: If I have carried it separately, I always put my wallet down by my purse, right by the back door when I walk in the house. Inside my purse, my wallet goes in a specific place as well. 
  • Emergency papers such as wills and insurance information: Keep a clearly marked, red folder right in the front of your file drawer with either these documents or instructions about where to find them.

The Travel category here on the blog has many other strategies for having specific homes for your items. One of the more popular posts was on modularizing your bags, both purses and luggage, which included a big shout out to one of our most popular products in our store, the Purse Organizer— it takes the idea of specific homes for things to an entirely higher level! I use mine constantly to find my breath mints, lip balm, and other purse items “by feel” without even needing to look in my purse.

There are many other examples of these specific homes. What are your favorites? Share in the comments!

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Stacey Agin Murray

I keep the security card to my son’s preschool in a see-thru slot on the outside of my purse. I use the same purse everyday as a time saver ( I have 2 kids under the age of four to get out the door–no time to change purses in the morning!). When I get to the school, I take the card out and as soon as I’m done with it, it goes back in the slot it came out of.


I use the same slot in my wallet for my debit card, so I can always find it quickly in the checkout line. (And my ID is right next to it.)
On school days, I put my kids’ packed lunch/snacks on the same spot: the corner of the dining room table, visible from the trail down the stairs to where their coats/shoes/backpacks are.


My husband got tired of looking for the main remote for our little TV. He took a circle of velcro fastener and glued one side to the remote, one to the side of the TV. Of course, this worked fine bc it’s an older model, don’t know about the HD / LCD type screens, there might not be room on the side! But for us, it was a perfect solution.


We have created a “bag of essential documents” in our house. It is an over-sized ziplock bag containing all the very important documents we need to grab in case of a fire or other emergency. It contains our passports, birth certificates, social security cards etc. incl. a portable hard drive with our digital photos. You can store it in a file cabinet, a safe or wherever it’s easy to locate if you need to leave in a hurry!

Cherie Grabowski

WOW! I love that last tip!! I work at a job where I have to report to work for natural disasters like hurricans and having everything in one place like that would be nice if I have to leave home and go to work.


All keys go in a basket by the front door. I use a Vera Bradley passport/travel document organizer for a wallet because it has so many slots and so much space to keep organized. There is a windowed slot for ID, and I keep my bank card there with it.


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