Professional organizers do not like the word miscellaneous. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary definition, it means, ‘consisting of diverse things or members’. This concept is the opposite of what organizers do. Organizers work with clients to categorize and assign homes to every item in their spaces, so that they can find specific items quickly and easily.
When you have shelves, bins, drawers, etc., labeled with specific categories, there is no question what item is contained in that space. Categories are groups of like items. When you’re trying to find something specific, do you go to a bin labeled miscellaneous, or do you go to the shelf that has a label with the category where this specific item lives?
Labels with specific categories that make sense to you, is an important aspect of organization. Everything can be categorized if you know what the item is, and if you don’t know what it is, why do you have it? That thought could segue to the purging excess conversation, but that’s for another time.
The first step in the organizing process is to sort by grouping like items together. When you group like items together, those items become a category. Those categories typically will indicate where they will live. For example, kitchen tools and dishes live in the kitchen, office supplies live in the office, personal care items live in the bathroom, etc.
For those that do have the category of miscellaneous in one or more spaces in their environment, how is that working for you? Can you find what you need quickly and easily? I ask these questions because I’m thinking that it really doesn’t work for you, but maybe you haven’t realized it yet.
If the miscellaneous categories you have in your spaces are not working for you, it may be time to rethink your organization strategy. Maybe look at the items in your miscellaneous category to see if you can separate them into categories of like items. By taking this first step, you are well on your way to eliminating that confusing miscellaneous category and living an organized life.