Organizing: Prime Real Estate

A few years ago I started implementing one of my FAVORITE organizing concepts. I’d never read about it before though it is probably completely common sense to the naturally organized (and a total revelation to the not-so-naturally organized).

The concept is to realize some parts of your home are “prime real estate” and others are not.

Examples of ‘prime real estate’ around the home.
-Entry way table
-Countertops
-Kitchen Cabinets
-Bathroom Cabinets
-Nightstands
-Living Room End Table

‘Prime’ areas are areas you have easy access to and use often during the day.
PictureThe items you use every day should be in the ‘prime’ areas. The items you use rarely should not be in the ‘prime’ areas.

Example 1: Kitchen counters are prime real estate. The items left there should be used every day. Although the $400 Kitchenaid mixer that you use once a month looks cool, it is getting in the way of you doing what you actually need to accomplish on the countertops every day – like make school lunches, dry dishes, etc.

Example 2: An entryway closet is prime real estate. It is a good spot for items you need on your way out the door.

When a ‘prime’ area keeps getting unorganized, it could be that it’s loaded with rarely used items.

PictureExample 3: Kitchen cabinets are prime real estate. Most people use them every day.  My turning point was the day that I packed up the cool springform pans I used about once a winter, the whole fondue set we use only  for New Years, and all the silverware that are for special occasions. I needed to keep these items because I did genuinely use them, but I felt like they were wasting space in my small kitchen. I filled one single plastic box, labeled it clearly, and put it in any easy to access spot in the basement.

I was SHOCKED at how much faster my work became in the kitchen. Even though I’d had ‘room’ for the items I removed, clearing up my kitchen gave me space for speeding up daily tasks I performed every day.

Here is an example of prime real estate using my entry-way closet. It’s fairly small so I have to make sure the items stored there are only the ones used often.

In the first picture, you can see that I have way to much stored in there. Actually, I just needed a spot to store outgoing items. (Returns, items to take to church, random items to send…)

Random bags littered the space. However, they could easily be condensed into a drawer.


Picture

Actually, the solution was just clearing out a single drawer that contained 2 baby carriers and a sling.

I never use those items as much as I intend – especially in the winter time when it’s easier to snuggle the baby in with blankets into his or her car seat and and carry it all out to the car.

This freed up space for outgoing items.

Hats, mittens, scarves, jackets, and all of my husband and my shoes (except the 2 we were wearing when the picture was taken and his hunting boots) are all easy to access.

The carriers went downstairs with the luggage. I will reevaluate in a few months when I have a baby to carry around, but for now I don’t need them.


Here is a picture of the finished outgoing drawer.

The whole project took me about 10 minutes, and the closet looks SO MUCH nicer. Moving rarely used items out to better contain the often used items makes out getting-out-the-door routine SO MUCH FASTER!

- Verity

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