This may seem like common sense but it’s surprising how often otherwise organized people forget to do this!
Keeping similar belongings together in your home helps you stay organized! It allows you to better remember where items are, reminds you where to put items back, and ensures you don’t over-buy duplicates because you forgot you had the items already. If you place similar items together, you are way less likely to lose your items or forget where you left them in your home. If you are managing a space that multiple people access, it also allows you to label with specific and clear categories that are easy for others to navigate.
When we talk about corralling like with like, we mean putting categories of items together such as sweaters, jeans, pens, makeup, etc... Since every persons stuff is different, their categories of corralled items will be specific to them. Here are good rules to follow when you are looking to separate similar items into categories.
Make sure you have the right bins or space to house your items.
It's important to corral your belongings within appropriate structures where your items stay separate from other categories, they fit well, and can be easily accessed and put back. If you do not take this into account, the whole system will fall apart and the work you did to place similar items together will be for nothing. Check out our bins here for ideas on how you might be able to corral your belongings within your home.
Be intentional and thoughtful about the categories you pick.
Think about the items use. If you use items for similar purposes, they can be corralled together. For instance, under the sink in your kitchen, you may have cleaning rags and sponges. Now, these are not the same items but for cleaning the kitchen, they may serve a similar purpose for you and because of this, you want to keep them together.
Think about the overall category of the items. Take tools for instance - each tool may be used for a different purpose, but the overall category is "Tools". Keeping them together will allow you to know exactly where to find what you are looking for.
Think about how many items you have within a category.
If you have a lot of one category - For instance, if you LOVE pants and have many, you may need to break them out into subcategories such as dress pants, exercise pants, jeans, and loungewear. You may also want to consider breaking large categories out by color or style.
If you have too few items within a category, you may need to place those items with another category of items. Our suggestion is to think through what other category of items could come together to make a larger overarching category. For instance, if you don’t have much makeup to fill a full drawer or cabinet in your bathroom, you may want to place your makeup with the other products you use to get ready in the morning. These items might be your toothbrush and toothpaste or face lotion and perfume. The overarching category in this case would be “Morning Routine” or “Getting Ready Products” instead of just “Makeup.”
It is important to note that there are exceptions to the rule of corralling like-with-like and this takes us back to another key realization within organization, finding balance. Not every single item within your home will be able to be separated into similar categories. This can be due size, function, or display preferences, and this is all more than okay!