What’s the best way to sort your stuff?

Is it best to sort by colour? By category? By frequency of use? By function?

The short answer is that I can’t tell you the best way to sort your stuff.

I can tell you that you should sort so that it is easy to find and manage your things when you need them.

Let’s talk through some examples:

Colour vs Function

Bookshelves – if you can’t remember what colour your book is, there is no point in organising by colour. But if you remember what your book looks like and would be able to retrieve it quickly, this is a good way for you.

Clothes – if you reach for a specific colour pair of pants or shirt, then perhaps store your clothes by colour. However, if you make decisions based on what you want to wear, like a dress vs pants and a shirt, for example, then consider storing your clothes by type, with all pants, dresses, or tops together.

Category vs Frequency of use

Makeup – when you’re doing your makeup in the morning, do you like all your lipsticks together, or do you like your daily makeup together (lipstick, eye-shadow and blush) and the rest in one section? If you have no problems retrieving a specific lipstick, then perhaps store by category. Otherwise, store your daily makeup together and your special occasion makeup together.

Bowls in the kitchen – do you prefer that all your bowls are stored together, or do you prefer to keep often-used ones in one location that is easier to reach, and special occasion bowls on higher, difficult-to-reach shelves?

In writing this blog post, I realised I almost always store by frequency of use and with my clothes and books, by colour.

Please share some examples of how you prefer to sort and store your stuff.

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  1. I definitely do a combination of these things. For example, I have one basic white handbag that I use for most days and I keep it by my bed, but my colorful and extra fancy purses and bags are in a drawer in the spare room organized by color. I only pull them out for special events or for church. I generally like to organize my clothes by color, but sometimes I do by category and then I put each category in rainbow order. I keep my special dishes put away but the more frequently used ones are broken into categories as well. I actually organize my books by type of binding (clothbound hard covers vs paperbacks) and then height; based on what shelf they fit on. Within that though, I try to keep certain genres together as much as I can. Thanks for sharing this! It’s been really good to think about how I’m doing things and what works best for me.

    • Marcia Francois says

      This is fascinating to me – I LOVE hearing how everybody sorts and organises their stuff. Aren’t human beings so much fun?!


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