The Real Estate of Your Stuff

If you want to keep something (because you love it, it fits your life, and you can afford to maintain it) the best follow up questions highlight how often you use something.
Knowing how frequently you need an item or reach for a tool is the first step in deciding what kind of ‘real-estate’ something deserves:
  • beach-front property for daily use
  • prime real estate for weekly use
  • out of sight or remote for monthly, seasonal, or annual

Beach-front property is your most precious space: out on your desk, on top of your kitchen counter, and hanging on a hook inside your closet. When you use something on a daily basis you want it in well lit areas, within easy reach, and without visual or physical barriers.

Prime real estate is your next level of valuable space: eye-level shelving, top desk drawers, the easiest-to-reach section of your closet rod. You need access to these items on a weekly basis; if you have to stack, make sure anything in front of or on top of a “prime” item gets more use since it’s taking up more valuable space.

Out of sight or remote are typically the lowest (or highest cabinets), the darkest corners of your closet, and the deepest shelves in your linen closet. Remote storage can be file cabinets in your basement or bins in your attic: think previous year’s taxes, off season clothes, camp duffles, and holiday decorations. You won’t mind having to go up or down steps for these items because they’re rarely needed.

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