Ditch The 'Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind' Storage Mentality & Do This For A Cleaner Home

Guests are coming over in 15 minutes, and you've got a case of the counter clutters. Your home is clean, but your stuff has taken over your space. What can you do in the short amount of time before folks arrive? Most people just shove the clutter into a closet or drawer — 'out of sight, out of mind', right? Well, that storage solution is less of a solution and more of a stopgap.

Once it sinks in, getting yourself out of the 'out of sight, out of mind' mindset can be tricky. This way of thinking about long-term storage can really backfire when those quick stashes become habitual. Not only can we forget that we own the things we've stored out of sight, but in some cases, it can be detrimental to store them in lesser-trafficked areas like the garage. Changes in humidity and temperature, for example, can damage wooden items or paper products. Instead, when it comes to storage, make it easy to see what you have by placing your items in intentional, out-in-the-open areas rather than haphazardly shoving them into a drawer or closet, where they could easily get lost. One practical way to do this is to use clear bins. This can lead to a cleaner house and perhaps even save you money. 

Out of sight storage could lead to duplicates

Have you ever accidentally purchased something only to get home and realize you already had one? That can be common for anyone using the 'out of sight, out of mind' storage mentality. It is easy to forget that you own something if you don't see it often. In fact, this is so common that professional organizer Crimsyn Hawk cited it as a reason to avoid out of sight storage. "We tend to forget about things we don't see on a regular basis, which can lead to overbuying and overcrowding," Hawk told Southern Living. "So, in short, 'out of sight out of mind' is not a game you should be playing with your things." 

Instead, Hawk recommends storing items with intention, which can also help maximize storage space in your small home. You should know where similar items are stored so that when you're looking for something, you can easily remember where it is. "Take the extra minute or two to place them in the correct zone (which should be in a spot you'll think to look for it next time) and in a way that is easy to see at first glance," Hawk added to the outlet. With a more organized mode of storage, you can still keep your items out of sight if you prefer, just with more intention so you don't end up with four toilet brushes or eight extra loofahs. 

Utilize clear bins for easy access

The much beloved clear storage bins eliminate the 'out of sight, out of mind' problem. These storage tools are a favorite of professional organizer Crimsyn Hawk, who told Southern Living that they're a game changer when it comes to organizing your home. "I like to use clear bins because they allow for a quick visual and save me time." There are myriad ways to make clear storage containers work for your pantry, for example. 

However, the clean look of clear storage is only as successful as the folks who organize the items inside them. Shifting from a mish-mash closet to a box only contains the problem, it doesn't fix it. That's why it's important to declutter your home for intentional storage first before tossing everything into a container. Assigning a role for the different containers and even labeling them will keep your things in tip-top shape and give you a specific area to find them later. Once you sort through what you don't need, you can then keep similar things together to avoid rebuying or misplacing items that you don't use very often.