Chunking Spaces

For Christmas last year, I received a 10 pack of flashlights. I don’t know who looks at a 10 pack of flashlights and thinks its the perfect gift for anyone other than a Boy Scout leader, but that’s what I got. I’m not a Boy Scout leader.

So we have these flashlights and I keep them in a drawer for flashlights and animal leases (because I also have several of those…because we have several animals). After a few recent weeks with power outage issues, these flashlights were dispersed throughout the house. During one of the last outages, I went to the flashlight drawer to grab one and they were all gone.

Such a simple concept to follow makes life so much more functional day-to-day – PUT THINGS BACK WHERE THEY BELONG WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH THEM! I get it, we were having very frequent outages and it came in handy to have one by the door, one by the bed, a few upstairs and so on, but the outages had stopped several days before and they were still scattered all over the house.

My memory doesn’t allow me to remember much past a few days. I stay busy. I can’t remember 5 different locations for flashlights and when the time comes that I will need one in the dark again, I won’t look for them anywhere else except that drawer. If they are not there, they are worthless to me. This is where the importance of chunking comes in.

All throughout my house, I chunk my spaces. It’s more than having a pantry space for food or a sock drawer. Every space is a sock drawer in my house. As much as I can, I keep like items together in defined spaces so that I can find them when I need them. I have a sock drawer, an underwear drawer, a scarf drawer, a shoe basket, and I keep as few categories of items as I can in one defined space. My flashlight and leashes drawer is just that. It’s not a junk drawer. One drawer in my computer desk holds only office supplies. Another holds only paper.

When you declutter before you organize, you’ll realize that you have a lot more space than you thought and this is what makes it possible to chunk items more efficiently. It’s so very important to get rid of the excess, because the excess is the stuff we end up shoving into any free space we can find. The excess creates our junk drawers.

I can’t live in a casserole. It’s too much to have 3 different storage areas for toilet paper. Toilet paper stays in the laundry room until it’s on the roll. When I tried to keep a few rolls in each bathroom, I’d just forget where they were, think I was out and buy more. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

You can’t use something if you don’t know where it is. I found 4 flashlights and returned them to the drawer, but that means 6 more are still somewhere in this house and what good are they to me now? At least I’ll always know where the toilet paper is.

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