Every home? Really? Yes, every home needs a place for the following items and I’m amazed at how many homes don’t have these. I’ve gotten a lot of blank stares through the years when I’ve been helping someone sort through paperwork and asked, “where is your memorabilia box” or “where do you keep your kids’ birth certificates?” 😳 We know they are important and we waste a lot of energy (mental and physical) worrying about where to store these types of things instead of just designating a home for them and calling it a day.
Box for Memorabilia
This probably will be more than 1 box but you only need one that is actively accepting new items. How many pieces of paper are on your desk that you want to keep but you don’t know where to put them? Photos, invitations, cute notes, cards, movie or museum tickets from a fun outing, etc are all examples of the ephemera we want to hang on to but don’t know what to do with. Get a nice, pretty box (or more) that covered in paper or fabric and designate that as your memorabilia box. It doesn’t need to be categorized, just accessible. A natural sort will probably appear in that the older items will be on the bottom if you’re like me and just drop items in the box and then close the lid. Now you have a place to put these treasures so they aren’t taking up space on your desk or in your kitchen.
p.s. ditto for photos. Even though most are on your phone, you still have printed photos that you’re going to want to save. Get a box (or 2 or 3)!
Light Bulbs on Every Floor
This goes against my philosophy of having only one home where you store supplies but, just like toilet paper, you need lightbulbs in more than one location. They don’t take up a lot of space and only put the ones that you use on that floor. For example, if all of your lamps upstairs use 60 watt bulbs then your halogens and spotlights can stay on the main floor where they are used. If you have a smaller home with not a lot of storage space, I’d keep them in one spot so you don’t have to check multiple locations. This is all about making it easier to deal with the minor but frustrating inconveniences that we all have. Storing light bulbs close to where you use them just makes sense and saves you running to the opposite side of the house when your bed side lamp goes out.
File for Life Documents
My mom called me a few days ago asking for a copy of my birth certificate. Fortunately, I knew exactly where it was because of a system and folder I had created over 20 years ago when she gave me all of my papers from school (including report cards!), programs from recitals, and my original birth certificate. These types of documents are not accessed consistently which makes being able to retrieve them without anxiety essential but challenging. How do you remember where you store stuff that you don’t use regularly? I call these Life Documents because they are all about you and your family: passports, marriage certificate, birth certificate(s), social security cards, adoption papers, etc. They need a home that’s easily remembered and located. I have a hanging file in our filing cabinet named just that and now I don’t have to think about where they are. That means I have more time to think about creative, fun things. 🙂
Words to the wise: if it can go anywhere it will be everywhere when you don’t need it and nowhere when you do. This means you will either waste time looking for it or energy worrying about it. Store it close to where you use it and designate a home so you know where to find it.