“A Place for Everything . . . ”

“A place for everything, and everything in its place”

It’s a noble thought, and we had every intention of maintaining the philosophy in our new home. Sadly, life and our responses to it didn’t assist us in sticking with the program. We end up spending amazing amounts of time putting things away, after the fact, when the majority of that time could probably be used for something else, if only we’d put things away right away.

The problem lies only partly in lack of motivation, especially on my husband’s side. The larger part of the problem is, purely and simply, the lack of a simple, working organization system. We’re still working out the kinks toward a system that works with our junk stuff and our lifestyle. Granted, we (especially I) could probably cut back on the amount of stuff to be organized, but there has to be a system that works for any size pile, right?

One place this organization issue hits the hardest is the garage. Besides all the everyday stuff out there, that room ends up with vast quantities of essential little parts that try very hard to disappear. Right now, for example, there’s a car out there, with the hood up and an impressive array of its guts spread out over a row of work tables (some real and some improvised). The car needs a new spider fuel injector , and my husband is in the midst of the transplant procedure. In the meantime, there are a number of rather small parts that have to stay organized and not lost, in order for the new spider to make a difference.

My husband manages to lay things out on the table in a pattern that mirrors the in-the-car layout. For me, those little parts would be a whole lot easier to keep straight with a series of baskets or even with one basket that has divided sections. These are greasy, carbon- and gas-coated parts, though, so this kind of an organization project would require industrial grade baskets, rather than the sort to be used throughout the rest of the house.

There are a whole lot of stainless steel baskets out there that would work well, not only for the car parts, but also for the general garage paraphernalia. Most of us could do pretty well with the standard stock sizes and styles available. For those with more complicated tendencies, there’s always the option of custom wire baskets, made to suit specific needs. One company–ThreeMTool, of York, Pennsylvania–offers customized designs, and they have no minimum order requirement, even for the customized baskets. Of course, you pay for what you get, but these baskets suit certain needs.

One of the nice things about using wire baskets for especially scummy projects is that the space between the wires lets the scum fall through and out . . . saves a whole lot of emptying and cleaning, which is a great feature, especially for garage-type stuff.

Everybody has a different system ideal for him, but this my take on organization. I like tidiness and openness that makes it easy to find things–baskets work for me.

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