Those little pots and boxes seem like a great idea for keeping things tidy but unless you have a system in place it is really easy for them to get out of hand.

This strategy will help you make your bowls etc. into dedicated homes for things so you can always find them when you need them.


What sort of things are in your small containers? Can you identify 5 groups that they would fit into?

Here are some ideas:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Hairclips and bands
  • Keys
  • Vouchers and tokens
  • Space change
  • Mending things—buttons and safetypins
  • Paperclips and pin tacks
  • Cables, chargers, plugs and leads


Identify 5 main groups and write them down next to the stars so you are accountable and will do the job.

Now—choose one group, Pens and pencils is a fantastic group to start with.

Find a box that will hold all the pens in your house and put it somewhere in the way. This is important because for the rest of the day you need to be looking out for pens and pencils and moving them into that box. If the box is in the way you will not forget about it.

If you have kids around this can be made into a game or a competition to soften the blow of tidying up!

Once all your pens are in one place you can check through them and decide if you really want to keep them all. Then, find one container for them so they have their own home. You might find it suits you to split this container and have more around the home in useful places too.

After you have conqured the pens, move onto the next item on the list.

Top Tip—You will be able to work out what groups of items you need by looking into the containers you have now, what is there a lot of? What do you use often?
Think about when and where you need things—do you do your hair in the bedroom, bathroom or hallway? That is where you need your hairclips. When do you empty your pockets or bags of spare change? Is it when you take your coat off? Could you have a spare change box by your coats?

When you have allocated places it doesn’t matter if the bowls and boxes get intruded by things that shouldn’t be there, because it will take you seconds to sort them out.