Have you ever misplaced something, often a precious item or something you are on a deadline to retrieve, only to finally find it, thanking your lucky stars? Did you keep on looking for it once located? Of course not! You stopped, likely relieved beyond measure, swearing this would ‘never’ happen to you again, right?
When I work with clients, in similar situations, they will often ask me “Where should I put this?” I ask them, “Where would you first expect to look for it?” Indeed, there are natural spots for items to be stored such as pots and pans in your kitchen. Then there are other items that you store that are not so obvious such as sheets. One can store sheets in a linen closet or in the bedroom in which they are used. There can, in essence, be multiple places to store items, which often proves to be the source of confusion when attempting to locate them.
That said, the next time you go searching for something—an article of clothing, a tool, a piece of paper, a file on your computer—make a mental note of the first place you frantically began your mining. When you finally find what you are looking for and finish using it, store it in that first place you looked, because that’s where it belongs to your way of thinking. Or at least it will be the first location you will look the next time. If you do so, you won’t have to waste time searching all those other places because now it is where you naturally would go to retrieve it.