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The Job Isn’t Finished Until Everything is Put Away

How many “do it yourself” (DIY) projects do you have on your list? What’s stopping you from getting them done? In my house it was usually time that was the problem.

Years ago, the first step my husband had to take for any DIY project was to find the tools he’d need. He had a terrible habit of leaving tools next to the job he had worked on instead of putting them away. This meant every project that needed tools took longer than it should because the first step was to find the tools. It also meant that the tool bench needed organizing at least once a year because, if by chance tools did get to the bench, they’d be in a heap.

The lesson here is that the job isn’t finished until everything is back where it belongs!

  • There are a few reasons why some folks find this a tough rule to follow.
  • The tools don’t really have a home so there’s no consistent place to return them to.
  • The tools aren’t kept in a convenient location.
    The containers they’re in aren’t convenient to use.

How do you solve these problems?

  • Designate a place for tools. Don’t mix them in with light bulbs and paint brushes; give them their own space.
  • Store things that are used often in a convenient location. That may mean a small hammer and one screwdriver will be kept in the “junk” drawer. The rest will live in the closet, garage or basement. Set up a tool box, bench, or peg board where frequently used items can be easily retrieved.
  • Make sure the containers you’re using are well suited for the job. A client of mine has a huge tool bag that’s about 18” deep in the center with pockets around the outside of the bag. The client hates the bag because she can’t find anything in it. It’s like a big black hole. This isn’t the right container for her household tools.

My husband got so sick of searching for tools that he was determined to change his ways. With a little help from me he organized his tool bench. After using a tool he would consciously stop himself from leaving the tools anywhere and force himself to finish the job by putting everything away. It didn’t take long before he realized that putting things back paid off. My husband eventually embraced this rule so much so that if I don’t put something away he’ll tells me “the jobs not done until everything is put away”. I guess I should be careful what I wish for.

Obviously this rule doesn’t just apply to tools; apply it to every room in your home and all items you own.
The picture above is part of my husbands organizing system.

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