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




Small Victories! KNOWing I’ll Be Able to Find Something!

Small Victories KNOWing I'll Find Something When I Need It at

Our new voter registration cards came in the mail last week. I knew exactly where I should put them.

That’s a big deal, y’all.

The key? Where I should put them.

I. Not someone.

Definitely not the best place to keep voter registration cards.

I answered my seriously-it’s-too-simple decluttering question: Where would I look for it first?

I know exactly where I’d look first. I’d look in the Junk Drawer. If they weren’t there, I’d probably look on my bathroom counter (don’t ask) or my dresser, in my underwear drawer, on the desk in the gameroom, and finally (while muttering rude things about myself under my breath), I would look in our filing “system” which is in disarray at the moment (and many past moments).

I love that question. I use it when I declutter and in moments like these when I need to decide where to put something. I love how the question eliminates all those steps in the last paragraph and the feelings of self-loathing I’ve experienced so many times as I drag my feet through the house, searching for something.

Where I would look for something is where I should put it.

Who cares where something should go if that’s the last place where I’d look?

Oh. And because I took a picture, I saw the things that were invisible that could totally go straight into the trashcan.

A lightswitch. (Don’t ask. I have no idea.)

An empty earbuds case for earbuds that have probably already been lost.

And a couple pieces of trash.

Not a decluttering project, but totally a decluttering win because there’s less. I like less.

Oh. And this would be an even better win if I also “replaced” the old cards with the new ones. But the old ones weren’t there. Maybe I’ll find them when I declutter my underwear drawer.

A Story of Eliminating Future Frustrations at




So, A Place for Everything But Not ALWAYS Everything In Its Place? Huh.

A Place For Everything But Not ALWAYS Everything in its Place Huh. at

That’s a how-interesting-so-that’s-the-way-it-works kind of “huh.”

Not a Texan version of “Pardon me?”

I love (affiliate link alert) my dishwand. I’ve blabbed about it already this week. And I really love using my favorite mug to keep it clean and dry and out from under dishes in the sink.

But alas, about three weeks after I’d come up with this oh-so-fabulous-and-couldn’t-be-any-more-perfect solution, my face fell when I saw it in the bottom of the sink, its handle in the garbage disposal.

I’m not sure how it got there, out of its designated home. I could probably pin it on one of the kids, but it’s not like I’ve never done that. By “that” I mean: come up with a perfect solution/spot/routine, and then life happens and I don’t put the item back in that spot and all is lost.

The “all is lost” part is overly-dramatic, but it’s how I roll.

I think that attitude is why the “place for everything” concept that Fancy Homemakers chant with a smile makes me tilt my head slightly while my eyes glaze over.

I felt the sadness of another failed solution, another not-put-back-in-its-place item, but then I realized I didn’t have to be sad.

I didn’t have to mourn another System Gone Wrong.

All I had to do was put the dishwand back in the mug.

My Must-Have Kitchen Cleaning Tool at 3

Which is so much easier than crying. Y’know, with the tissue and the blotchy face and the runny nose and all.

And it hit me that A Place for Everything is how people pick up their houses so quickly. They don’t have to moan or groan or stare at an item for ten minutes wondering where to put it. It’s not that nothing EVER gets out of place. It’s just that when it does, there’s an angst-free place to place it.

Getting rid of A LOT of stuff and asking myself my two (and ONLY two) decluttering questions means most of my stuff does have a place. (Not all, but I’m excited to say most.)

My dishwand has a place.

So put it there.

Huh. Pretty easy. Who knew?

So, A Place for Everything But Not ALWAYS Everything In Its Place Huh. at 2

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