Susan Walko is a professional organizer who stays up at night dreaming of the best way to help others live an organized life. In her blog posts, she tries to stay short and sweet, but don't let that fool you. She has a depth of knowledge that has helped many on their path to downsizing to a clutter free existence. Check her out at www.organiz-er.com.
Monday, October 28, 2019
The Home Zones
Even if you live alone, there are bound to be some spaces where things get
messy. Whether it is in your home office, your garage, or even your whole
house, chaos most likely exists in your abode. Items end up in the wrong rooms and
sometimes it’s difficult and inconvenient to find just what you’re looking for
when you need it. One method of managing
your home to solve this problem is to create zones in each room of your home. To keep the whole home useable and clean, each
room should have succinct and manageable zones. Such a system should help make sense of the
items in your home, not confuse you. The goal of zones is to create areas that
are welcoming, useable, and peaceful.
Just as your house naturally has “zones” (the kitchen, the living room,
bedrooms, etc.), each individual room should also have zones within them
consisting of items that belong there together. Utilizing this simple system
will assist in maintaining an organized household. For example, your kitchen
should have separate areas for cookware, dinnerware, food, and seasonal items. Keeping
these areas tidy and putting away items where they belong will make it easy to
maintain a clean, well-organized home.
Ideally, the names of each area should be kept general so that they can
fit a variety of appropriate items, but specific enough to keep unwanted items
out of that space. In the case of the kitchen, a dining ware area is general
enough to fit plates, bowls, and cutlery together, but does not include appliances
such a rice cookers and blenders, which should have their own place. This
system also makes it easy to identify items which do not belong in a given room
that should be put away elsewhere in their own homes.
To assist with creating zones, check out our “ZONE Detail Worksheet.” Use the worksheet to identify zones in your
home, considering the zones you might already have in your home or office
spaces. Sometimes it is easier to look around at the different areas to see
which zones you already have before deciding on what you should have. Look at
each area with a critical eye and think about what the space was originally
intended for and what it is being used for now.
Also look for items that are misplaced or don’t seem to belong. Do you have any items that do not belong in
any category listed on the sheet? Do you need to create a new category? List these new categories at the bottom of
the worksheet. Every item should belong to a category, even if it is only a
category of two. Although I recommend that
you keep categories to a minimum of three items, I challenge you to think broader
to add an item to an existing category instead of creating a new one. Recently, I was working with someone in a
home office and we had made a category for glue. There was wood glue, glue sticks, epoxy, etc.
Then we had tape – duct tape, masking tape, scotch tape, etc. But when we were actually organizing, we
realized the better category was adhesives and fasteners. This label gave us the option to add a roll
of twine that did not fit anywhere else! Also, don’t be afraid to get rid of some
zones that you may no longer need. If
you have a zone for your skiing supplies but have not skied in years, there may
be no need to have a zone for that! Good
For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit