A home for everything. The homebody in me loves this.
This is one of my favorite aspects of the KonMari method of organization: finding a home for every last item. No homeless objects in this house! (Ideally…)
In my last post on the KonMari method, I shared how the simplicity of the system had a positive impact on my whole life and what it taught me about gratitude. This post is going to be a little more practical: storage a.k.a. a home for everything.
I first encountered this idea in the Montessori world. In a Montessori environment, every single material has a designated home. A pair of scissors does not just go on the shelf, it has it’s own special tray on the shelf. The magnifying glass has a doily, the different beads have their different baskets. KonMari uses the same method, and she simplifies it as she does best, by keeping everything in each category together. All scissors go together. All skin care items go together. All outdoor activity related stuff goes together. You get the idea. (This makes a huge difference btw!)
Now here’s the kicker: you don’t need to go out and buy all these special trays and baskets and dishes and boxes in order to give a home to all of your belongings. Filling your house with MORE stuff defeats the purpose of simplifying your belongings in the first place! Believe it or not, you have many wonderful storage items right under your nose. Here are my favorites:
1. Sentimental Items
Yes, I’m still talking about storage! If you’re like me, then a lot of the things you kept during the discarding stage of organization are sentimental items, or gifts (as mentioned in my last KonMari post.) Put those items to good use! I store loose tea bags in a teapot that was a gift from my mom, but is too big for my present tea drinking needs. Pens and pencils are in an old tea box that is a souvenir from a special time in my life. The bottom line is this: tea holds a special place in my life. Oh woops, sorry, I have tea on my mind. What I meant to say is: if sentimental items or gifts are still beautiful or special in some way, they can bring more joy to you in use/display than they can stuffed away in a box.
Empty jam jars can look just as trendy as a Mason jar that you might purchase at Michaels, but better, because they come free with the jam! (right?) Just soak and scrub, baby. My favorite repurposed food storage jars are the Adams Peanut butter jars.
I use them for everything. They store bulk rice, pasta, oatmeal, granola, nuts on top of my fridge. I spiffed one up to use on my nightstand for my phone charger, etc. They make sick candle holders.
3. Notecard Boxes
You know those cute little boxes that expensive notecards come in? They make great containers for ribbons, stamps, jewelry, or other small items. The fact that these boxes are square (unlike most of the items on my list) is a huge plus in my mind.
4. Candle Containers
Often, scented candles come in jars or tins with lids. After the candle has melted down and is no longer useful it for candle purposes, simply set it in the oven at a low temperature until the wax is completely melted. Carefully remove it from the oven and wait a few moments until the wax is cool enough to touch, but not yet hardened again. Then wipe it out with a paper towel. I keep my earrings in an old Trader Joe’s candle cleaned out in this way.
Great for bookmarks, pens or pencils, scissors, or tiny matchbooks (if you randomly happen to have a lot of those…)
6. Shoe boxes
The last on the list, because of their ugliness and flimsiness. But, still included for their square shape and aptitude for holding spice jars while you wait for the homemade, hand-carved, wooden spice cabinet of your dreams.
What do you guys think? What are your favorite storage hacks?