Decluttering and organising are all about
(1) categories, and
The Like with Like principle is fundamental, particularly in terms of (1) categories. Grouping Like with Like means creating categories.
Grouping Like with Like – Decluttering
Often our stuff is spread throughout the house, so we don’t know exactly what we own.
Before you declutter, grouping Like with Like is crucial, so you can see how much of each category you own. Putting all your stationery together and all your shoes together provides much-needed clarity for what you can cull.
If you have lots of stationery, categorise further later on (maybe not right away if you have a lot to go through) – all note books together, all pens together, etc. Likewise with shoes – group heels, sneakers, boots etc.
Grouping Like with Like – Organising
Storing your stuff sensibly means grouping Like with Like and arranging as such. Frequently-used categories should live in the prime real estate of eye-to-knee shelving or even bench top, while lesser-used items can live out of easy reach.
Sometimes it’s necessary to split the categories in certain ways to facilitate this. For example daily-use plates and bowls go at shoulder-level, while your best crystal (which you can feel free to use by the way) could live higher or lower in your storage hierarchy.
Containers and bins with labels can help to demarcate and maintain your categories. You could have a plastic container storing all your spices so that when you want a selection, you pull the entire box off the shelf. You could put all your Christmas decorations in a plastic tub in the garage and bring it within reach during festive season.
Storing your categories together enables all these smart organising solutions, meaning you can find your belongings really easily.
Grouping Like with Like – Maintenance
If you keep all your scissors together and know there is a drawer full of them, you will be less tempted to buy another set – even if they are on sale. Grouping Like with Like and knowing what you own is a big part of preventing unnecessary acquisition.
Grouping Like with Like – How
You are probably already doing it. I’ll bet you have a sock drawer, a tool box or a fruit bowl.
There is no set list of categories because it depends how you live. Some households will have a big vitamins category, while others won’t. Some may not have any camping gear, and others may have a big selection of crafting stuff.
Usually as you progress, your categories should emerge.
If they don’t, a Professional Organiser can help set up the structure.