Why is stuff on the floor?

I’m wondering…if I was to take a peek in your garage, basement, storage room, or even your closets, would I see stuff strewn all over the floor?  I’m willing to bet in many cases I would.  It’s like the stuff exploded and then grew as it lay there seemingly without you doing anything.  I know, it’s kinda freaky. Well, the bad news is that the stuff didn’t get there by itself, so therefore someone in your household put it there on purpose.  I know, I know, the kids did it, the husband did it, the girlfriend did it, the friends from school did it.  Anybody could have done it.  Determining who did it isn’t really going to solve the problem.

So, how do you solve the problem? Well, you have to begin by asking yourself “why” the stuff is on the floor.  What is the problem that is causing all of those other people to throw their stuff on the floor? There can be any number of reasons for ‘floor clutteritis’, but here are two of the most common reasons:

Don’t Know Where to Put It

One reason could be that all of the people responsible for the stuff on the floor simply don’t know where to put their belongings because no one has told them.  Here’s the thing.  Only 25 percent of us are born with the natural ability to know how to keep a space tidy and organized. That means the other 75 percent have to be shown and taught how to keep things organized.  I find that fairly specific instructions are required and that labelling may be necessary.  So, if someone is doing some yard work and they use the lawn mower, weed whacker, rake, garden sheers, green bin, and so on, that person might need some direction as to how and where to put those things away.  

No Designated Spot

Another reason may be that there is actually no designated place to put stuff and therefore the floor becomes the easiest option.  I was helping clients reorganize their basement recently.  They had a really nice little room with all of their sports gear on shelves.   Somehow, however, a bunch of coolers were on the floor in the middle of the room (they had no home) so you couldn’t actually get at any of the sports gear. So, the often-used gear migrated to other areas of the basement that were easier to get at and voila, a mess resulted.  All we did was set up some shelving (it was buried at the bottom of a pile) and that solved most of the issues.  We were able to move the Christmas decorations (after a good purge) to another area and then place shelving outside the sports gear room and all the coolers then had a home on the shelving.  Presto, sports gear room usable once again. 

I know, I make it sound simple but often it is pretty simple.  You have to spend a fair bit of time thinking about where the stuff should be stored based on how often you use it and then make the items you need easily accessible.  As you’re planning, remember to get everything off the floor.  There is something about lifting the clutter up off the floor that immediately makes the space feel more organized.  Using simple solutions like hooks or even large nails to hang things on can make a huge difference.   

Try to make your organizing solutions really simple and super easy to use.  Unless, of course, you are one of the 25 percent and then you’ll keep it tidy no matter how much work it is. Not that I’m suggesting that is a good thing.

What organizing projects like this have you had success with?

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