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Do like items belong together? Organize by task

Organize by task rather than grouping like items together. Better organization means less daily stress and more time to do things you like.  In a recent Happier podcast, Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft gave a listener’s tip to put workout clothes together, socks and all, in the drawer to simplify going to the gym.  Gretchen described her “aha moment” about keeping the supplies to mail out bookplates to readers in one box rather than searching all over the office for envelopes, stamps, etc.  My stamps, envelopes and address labels are in three different places in my office.  So many tasks involve multiple locations to gather the needed tools and supplies, and I started to wonder where else could I use the strategy of grouping items by task.

Stationery box before and after

Where can I organize by task?


I found I could store greeting cards, thank you notes, envelopes, stamps and labels in one cloth storage cube on a shelf.  I labeled it so everyone would know what was in it and not ask me where the stamps went.

Reading basket

I’ve created a reading basket with my current book, the on-deck selections, current unread magazines, Kindle and its charger, bookmarks, and reading glasses.  Since I often read for information, I need highlighters, sticky notes, and pens.  There’s a perfect spot beside my well-lit, comfortable chair for the basket.  It makes me happy to see my reading basket waiting for me.

Hand and foot basket

Hands and feet

Our clippers, polish, files, pumice, creams, and ointments were not only in different drawers and cabinets but also in another bathroom.  The obvious solution is to put them all in one container and find a place to store it.  By the way, the Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa Cracked Heel Treatment is the best cream I’ve ever tried for my heels.

Purse organizing

Changing handbags needs to be quick and complete.  My bag has everything I might need for a natural disaster or endless waiting.  Most purse organizers are too big.  I think zippered pouches are the answer.  Everything in the bag should be a different color and texture.  Looking for black pouches in a black bag is frustrating but feeling for a specific texture in the dark is quicker.

Packing a suitcase

Packing cubes

Putting complete outfits together and packing them as a group would be more organized.  Once I arrive, I typically dig through the suitcase looking for the next item needed.  Putting the whole outfit in a packing cube would eliminate that problem and make it easier to decide what to pack.

Blood pressure cuff 

I’m supposed to be checking my blood pressure daily but where to store the cuff so I will remember to use it?  You should sit for a few minutes before you take it, have both feet on the floor, sit in a chair with a back, and have a place to put your arm down flat.  The most likely spot for that is my desk so I will have to clear out drawer space to store the cuff.  Since this involves more decluttering, it has yet to happen.

Hair tools – Major improvement to my bathroom!

I came across a DIY project to use the space directly below the bathroom sink for a shelf to hold hair dryers, irons, etc.  I’ve been using a basket in the cabinet, but it’s not a great solution.  This under-the-sink hair tool storage post has instructions on how to accomplish this and make your mornings easier.  My husband built this shelf for me for Mother’s Day and it is a major improvement!  This not only created a space for supplies I use daily, but it freed up more space in the cabinet below so there’s less searching for everything else.


Typically, I put like items together, ignoring when and where these items are used. Organizing by task is a different perspective that may improve chore efficiency and free up more time for things you like to do.

#clutterfree #efficientlife #organizebytask #readingbasket

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