Where Would You Look OTHER Than There?

Where Would You Look OTHER Than There My first decluttering questions at

My first decluttering question is: If I was looking for this item, where would I look for it first?

Would. Not should.

No decisions need to be made. No analysis of the very best home for this particular thing.

The home is where I would look first.

The best thing about this question is that I can use it on my family members if it’s an item that belongs to someone other than me. I had to explain what I was looking for the first few times I asked them this question, but now they mostly know what I want in an answer.


Sometimes, they still get smart-alecky.

Like this jacket.

Clearing the Dining Room Table in Five Minutes Better at #5MinuteFriday

I’d cleared the table in five minutes, but then noticed the jacket. It’s Hubby’s, so I asked him, “Where would you look first for this jacket?”

His answer: Ummm. On that chair?

I made a face. I rolled my eyes.

I gave the look.

And I said, “Other than there.”

He sighed, and said he’d look for it in the coat closet.

So I took it to the coat closet.

This scenario is actually one that I get emails about frequently. “What if the place where I’d look first is a really bad place? A place out in the open where it obviously shouldn’t be?”

I get it.

Many times, pre-deslobification process, I assured random people that I needed my stuff to be “out where I could see it.” I called this my crazy-but-it-works-for-me organizational system.

Which would have been fine, except it wasn’t fine.

My house was actually a disaster. A total disaster.

The super important things I thought I needed to be able to “see” mixed in with totally unimportant things until I couldn’t see a thing because all I saw was an overwhelming mess.

And I just like my house so much better when there aren’t jackets hanging on the backs of chairs.

So I responded: Other than there.

Because that’s the truth. Even though I might look for something first in the place where I tend to throw it first, that doesn’t count if it’s a place where I’d never leave it when I’m cleaning up that space.

So maybe my question could have been to him: Where would you look first if you weren’t being sassy?

Actually, I think that WAS how I put it the second time.


Where Would You Look OTHER Than There Using my first decluttering question at pin



--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    I’m wondering why YOU placed the jacket in the coat closet? Especially since your husband was probably close by and knew that’s where he/you would look for it, if it wasn’t on the chair.

    • 2

      Neither my husband nor I view cleaning up as a power struggle. I was cleaning in that room. Just like I would bristle if he was working on an area and asked me to stop what I was doing elsewhere to put away an item he was holding in his hands (as one would do with a toddler), he would bristle as well. That’s not how we treat one another.

  2. 3

    I did it! I caught up on the blog! I’m so thankful to have found you and discovered I’m not alone. It’s also ironic to have caught up on this post because I would have had the same “sassy” answer as hubby did. Lol Thank you Dana. I have hope.

  3. 4

    Dana, I love your blog. In fact I just finished your book. I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I learned so much about keeping a presentable house. The biggest shocker to me was the realization you just have to Do It, it won’t miraculously get done. Second was the concept of a container. I just started reading your blog for the second time, thanks for being an inspiration! Oh, and you’re funny too.

  4. 7

    I love how you simplify it all. It really does give me hope!

    Thank you!

  5. 8

    This made me giggle so much. I so get this.

  6. 9

    Today I was cleaning out a basket of random homeschool items and I found all the erasers. I’ve been looking all over for those things. (I have a couple of kids who want all their schoolwork to be just right, so erasers are a big deal). I realized I’d put the erasers in the basket thinking I’d look for them there. Umm, no. Not working for me. I keep pencils and pens in mason jars on the shelf. I found a small mason jar and filled it with erasers and put it with the pencil jar. BOOM! A place I’ll actually think to look and it’s nice and tidy!!

  7. 10
    Stephanie Mercer says:

    I am already practicing this because we are about to move into a new and I have already assigned places for things and if necessary I will buy two of those items so I can reduce the number of times I hear “Where is the (whatever it is my husband is looking for)”. Thank you for doing what you are doing. It has given me hope and changed my life and my home…clean kitchen for over a year after reading 28 days..!!!!! Still reading your book, its taking me a little longer since we had our 2 child in Dec but loving it so far!

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