Declutter to Save Time: Lost Items Cost More Than an Hour Each Week

Declutter to save time looking for lost items.

This post forms part of my Organized Lifestyle series

The average person spends 10 minutes per day searching for misplaced items, a study has found. That adds up to more that two days per year wasted looking for personal belongings.

TV remotes, phones, car keys, glasses and wallets top the list of misplaced belongings.

Why is it we seem to misplace things so easily?

1. We have so much stuff we lose items in the clutter
2. We don’t have a logical place to keep our belongings
3. We don’t put things back where they belong

How can we declutter to save time?

A pair of reading glasses sitting on the kitchen counter will be easy to find if they are the only thing sitting there. On the other hand, if they are just another thing amongst the jumble of papers, dishes, pens, pencils and other assorted clutter, they might easily be overlooked.

It will take time to remove the clutter that is helping to hide the important things you need but it will be time well spent. Think about all of the time you will save in not having to hunt for your car keys to go to work in the morning, not to forget the stress and frustration you will save as well.

What else can we do to help us find our items?

When we don’t have a logical place to store our car keys, wallet or phone we can easily put them down on the first available surface and then have no idea where that was.

It can be very easy to be on auto pilot at certain key points in the day. Getting ready to head off to work in the morning and when we arrive home in the evening are particularly forgetful times.

When we are in a hurry and haven’t really been paying attention to what we have been doing we can easily lose one of these important items.

If however, we have identified a place where we will always put something, then the chance of losing it becomes greatly reduced.

Perhaps we have a key hanger in the kitchen, perhaps we have a bowl on the bedside table, perhaps we have a certain pocket in our work bag. Whatever you choose, it is important to find a logical spot to store these small but commonly used items so that it is a simple matter to find them when you need them.

What do we do after we have identified homes for our items?

Of course, once these logical places have been identified, it is important that the item is always put back there once it has been used.

There is no point in saying that we keep the TV remote on the coffee table if that is not where we put it. It doesn’t help to look in our bag for the keys if we left them lying around on the bench in the kitchen.

Make a commitment to always put things back where they belong immediately. It will take a while to develop this into a habit but once you do, you will find that life becomes a lot less stressful at those important, busy moments.

Of course, there will always be times when things just haven’t gone to plan and you have put something down somewhere, walked off and then completely forgotten where that somewhere was. These things happen, but if we take some time to declutter, find home for our belongings and ensure we put items where they belong, we can stop this becoming too much of an issue.

Get these three things sorted and claim back your two hours a week for other, more enjoyable pursuits.