Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What the gathering of Israel can teach us about home organization

Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places. (D&C 101:22)

One of the great teachings of the restored gospel is that of the gathering of Israel.  We Israel are gathered to keep us safe and to support us among a world of temptation.

Gathering is also an important principle of home organization and aids in the process of de-cluttering.  Gathering (or consolidation, as I like to call it) brings together all the tools for certain activities together.  

The advantages of consolidation are:
--Time is saved finding and inventorying needed supplies,
--Time saved when putting supplies away.  Put them in one place and you’re done!
--Money saved.  (You won’t waste money buying duplicates.)
--Memory saved.  (You won’t need to wrack your brain trying to think of where else you put cleaning supplies.)
--Space saved.  (You’ll only need space for one location of supplies.)

Here are some types of tools and supplies that can be gathered or consolidated and places they are best gathered to:

  • Food (kitchen cupboards, pantry)
  • Clothing (closet and/or clothes dresser in bedroom)
  • Laundry supplies (put near the washer and dryer)
  • Hair care supplies (put where hair is coiffed, which is usually the bathroom)
  • Makeup supplies (put where makeup is done, usually the bathroom)
  • Toiletries (put in or near the bathroom)
  • Jewelry (put in bathroom or near where you get dressed)
  • Office supplies (put in or near desk)
  • Electronic and computer supplies (put near computer)
  • Videos and music (put near TV or sound system)
  • Outdoor play equipment (put in garage or on back porch)
  • Car tools (in garage)
  • Coats, hats, gloves, boots, and other outerwear (put in front hall closet)
  • Cleaning supplies  (commonly under kitchen sink or on a shelf over washer and dryer)
  • Craft supplies (near dining table)
  • Board games (near dining table or living room)
  • Camping equipment (garage or storage shed)

When I help people get organized, one of the first things I try to do is consolidate all their supplies together.  This can be a very big job because frequently just about everything on the above list needs consolidation. One of my clients couldn’t believe how many hotel shampoos and bars of soap she had saved up.  She kept putting them away in different places so she had no idea how much she really had.  By consolidating, she could see how much she had and then make a decision about how much she wanted to keep.   She also learned how much sewing notions she had when it was all gathered together. 

Why might supplies become scattered?:
--There isn’t enough room for them all in one place.  (Either the place is too small or we are unwilling to buy appropriate-sized boxes and so we make do with what we have.)
--We use the supplies so rarely that we forget where we keep them, so we get more and then we make up a new place to keep them.
--We neglect to put things away where they should go. (Or someone else neglects to put them away.)

Some might think that you should wait until all your supplies of a particular type are consolidated before you start de-cluttering them.  This is not so.  You can begin de-cluttering as soon as it becomes evident that you have more than enough.  For instance, as soon as you see that you have more than enough first aid supplies, you can start making another kit to give to someone else.   As soon as you see you have more than enough art supplies, you can start picking out what’s still good and your favorites to keep and let go of the rest.  Then, when you find more, you can evaluate it according to the standards you have previously set and you will know pretty quickly whether it is something to keep or get rid of.  

Do you need extra help with organizing and de-cluttering? Hire me! Go to for more information about my services! Did this article help you? Be sure to share it with your friends!


Rozy Lass said...

One of my favorite scriptures for organizing is Moses 1:35 ". . .but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them." And verse 37 ". . .but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine."

To be organized is Godlike; How will we be able to deal with worlds without number (to man) if we don't learn with a few able to be numbered things here on earth?

Really good post.

Michaela Stephens said...

Excellent point, Rozy Lass. Thanks for bringing that up!