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Organizing 101: How To Put Things In Order The Japanese Way

Organizing 101: How To Put Things In Order the Japanese Way is about the “2nd S” of the Japanese 5S System, (Sorting a.k.a. Decluttering, Set In Order, Sweeping, Standardize and Sustain), which is Set In Order. This is the method that you need to follow once you have already decided which items to keep and have discarded the items that you no longer need.

Now that you have discarded all of things that are not essential to your everyday life, you are now ready to designate a place for every item that you decided to keep. All essential items should be placed and arranged in an efficient way to minimize extra bending as well as reaching or moving back and forth when completing a task. This is the Set In Order method of the Japanese organizational system a.k.a. How To Put Things in Order in an organized way.

Please do not confuse being neat with being organized. Being neat is different from being organized. Neatness will definitely give an organized appearance. However, true organization really means that all your essential items, aside from having a specific or designated location, are arranged systematically to help you use your space with ease and comfort.

For example, lets say that your kitchen “looks organized”. You have plenty of counter space and most of your kitchen essentials are inside the cabinet or arranged neatly in your walk in pantry. However, you notice that every time you start meal preparation or are in the middle of cooking, you make a lot of trips to your walk-in pantry, have extra bending, and have to reach for items. You even find that extra time is spent looking for things you need. On top of this, your kitchen is a mess after every meal preparation and additional cleaning time needs to be spent just to make your kitchen look neat again.  If you are experiencing these things, then these are the signs that your things may be neatly arranged, but your essentials are not really arranged in an organized manner.

Knowing what item to put where is an essential step to take in order to create an organizing system that suits your life style. It will definitely help you to complete your tasks easier and faster and make it a more enjoyable experience.

4 Organizing Steps To Know How to Put Things in Order the Japanese Way

This method is about finding a place for everything and putting everything in its place. A place where you can easily access the items when you need them and easily put them back after usage. Below are are the guidelines for you to know about what to put where to achieve the essence of organizing. These are probably the counterpart of Ms. Marie Kondo famous advice “when you are choosing where to store something, ask your house.” Lets face it, you will never get an answer from your house no matter how many times you ask the questions, unless of course you are Ms. Kondo or you know how to meditate just like Ms. Kondo. However, by answering the 3 questions I provide below, you will able to identify what item to put where.

  1. Re-Examine each essential item and group each items according to its Function, Frequency of Use and Location.

How To Go About It?

    • For Function –  Answer the question “What items with similar use or function do I have?  By answering this question, you will able to identify and gather items with similar function or items under the same family or usage.
    • For Frequency of Use – Answer the question “How often do I use this item?” By answering this question you will able to come up with 3 subcategories below based on its frequency of use:
      • High Usage Items/Often (A): Items that you use everyday or almost everyday.
      • Medium Usage Items/Once in a while (B): Items that you use once or twice a week or once a month.
      • Low Usage Items/Very seldom or just on certain occasions (C): Items you use on a certain occasion
    • For Location – Answer the question “Where do I use it?” By answering this question, you will able to identify what item to to put where as illustrated below:Organizing 101

2. Designate location or cabinet based on its Function, Frequency of Use and Location

    • Function – All items with similar function or under the same family or similar usage should be grouped together and placed in one area or cabinet as much as possible.
    • Frequency of Use and Location – Allocate each group of items a place or cabinet based on its frequency of use and location. The rule of thumb is to designate a place for a group of items as near as possible where you use them.
      • High Usage Items/Often (A): Designate a place where high frequently group of items are easily accessible.
      • Medium Usage Items/Once in a while (B): Designate part of the cabinet that requires a bit of stretching or bending. It’s usually in the middle part of the wall cabinet or bottom shelf of the lower cabinet.
      • Low Usage Items/Very seldom or just on certain occasions (C): Designate the upper most part of the cabinet or store it at a distance such as in the basement. This will require you to use a ladder to access those items or a few steps to access the items at a distance.Organizing 101

3. Keep your flat surfaces like counter space and floor clear and as much as possible keep items out of sight. This will make your house look neat and tidy.

4. Use storage organization products to help you arrange items neatly and help you to utilize your space effectively. Buy organizing products that match with your storage needs and not on the basis of esthetic appearance. A good storage organization product helps you arrange your items in a systematic way and utilize your space effectively. This will lead you to store many of your essentials. For your small items or items with various shapes and sizes, putting them inside a basket or a bin will definitely help you to keep them organized.

Doing the guidelines listed above will help you to arrange your essentials and this will make your everyday life easier. All of the items that you need to complete a certain task will be within reach. This means there will be no more excessive back and forth motion or searching for missing items, no extra bending or reaching and no more frustration because everything is available when you need it. This also means that all your essentials are organized on the basis of your daily needs. Therefore, making your stay at home enjoyable.

Storage Organization Products That Help You To Get Organized

Below are the organizing products that I personally picked. Remember Storage Products are only tools to help you get organized not a solution to your clutter problem. Your clutter problem should be dealt with first before even considering the use of storage organizational products and they should always be matched with your storage needs.

CLOSET : Storage Bins or Baskets are good for storing seasonal clothing. You can put these in the upper most shelf which contains the bins or baskets with your out of season clothing while placing bins with current season clothing on a shelf within your reach. Hanging Closet Organizers help you to maximize the usage of your closet space as well as helping you to neatly place or arrange your personal belongings. Storage containers with lids are also a good type of option to look at because you can stack them and they can be used as under bed storage plus they will keep dust off of your items. Bins without lids give you easy access to your beloved items just like products that use the pull out system design.

KITCHEN: The kitchen is the busiest part of your home therefore, every inch of space is essential. Choose kitchen organizing products that help you to utilize your space, with easy accessibility design and that suit your storage needs. Many times, storage organizing products can end up becoming part of your clutter. This happens when a particular storage product did not match your storage needs. To avoid this from happening, you need to identify your storage needs first before buying any storage product.


LIVING ROOM: Nowadays, living room furniture offers good storage design beside its decorative features. The storage feature of furniture is an important aspect to look for especially if you only have a small living space. Furniture with good storage features will definitely help you in your storage needs and will keep your living space clutter free.

GARAGE: The garage is considered an extension of your storage area. Even though most of the items that you usually store in the garage are your least important items, it’s still good to keep them organized just like you keep and store your other essentials.

Remember storage organizing products are just a tool to help you with being organized. Avoid organization products that occupy too much space unless space is not a concern. Buy organizing products that match your storage needs and match with your space availability. Functionality and versatility are the most important aspect to look at when buying organizing products and the  esthetic appearance is just a bonus. You need to have a good plan to identify what item to put where in order for you have an organized system that will make your everyday life easier.

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How To Organize Makeup: Organizing 101 Makeup Edition

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