Why You Should Use The Like With Like Rule To Get More Organized

While you may not be familiar with the term 'like with like,' you've certainly seen it in action if you're a fan of binging The Home Edit on Netflix. It can be referred to as categorizing or sorting similar items together. But it's known as the 'like with like' rule in the organizing world, and it's one of the most important rules to follow in the process of getting and staying organized.

According to Abby Organizes, she puts her like items together right after the decluttering step. Once you've let go of the stuff that no longer sparks joy, the phrase made famous by Marie Kondo, or is expired, you're left with only the things that you're keeping and need to be organized. By sorting them into categories, you're able to better see what kind of system you'll need to set up and where they can fit in your home.

For example, if you're embarking on a pantry organization project, you'll undoubtedly have boxes of pasta or cereal, canned goods, and bags of snacks. To really get the benefits of the 'like with like' rule, you'll want to store these items in smaller sections. Pasta can be separated into regular and gluten-free, while cans can be sorted by vegetables and soup. Snacks? Try creating categories of sweet, salty, and the pre-packaged on-the-go kind.

This method doesn't stop at the pantry, however, so read on to find out how the 'like with like' rule can help keep your entire home organized.

It helps you find what you need

By keeping like items together, it becomes a no-brainer to find what you're looking for when you need it. As we mentioned, this doesn't simply mean when you go hunting for a midnight snack in the pantry. According to The Organized Mama, you can break down every room of your home into categories. While some things are more obvious, such as storing all the family's coats in the coat closet, smaller or miscellaneous things can get looked over.

Say the TV remote batteries are no longer working, but you know you picked up a new pack a few months ago. If you've followed the rule of storing 'like with like,' you should know exactly where to find fresh batteries. That's because they'll all be together in one spot, whether that be an organizer in the junk drawer or a bin in the linen closet. Having a clear system for both big and little things comes with a slew of benefits.

Saving time is one of them since you don't need to search throughout the whole house to find something. Another perk is saving money because it's easier to scan the spot where you store all the medicine before running to the store and buying a bottle of something you already have. All in all, this can save your sanity, especially if your significant other has a habit of saying they can't find the ketchup when it's obviously stored with the other condiments.

It helps you put things back where they belong

Just as easily as storing 'like with like' can help you find things, it can also help you return or restock stuff with little thought. It might take a bit of practice, but once you put your clean sweatpants away in the same spot enough times, it will become a habit like brushing your teeth before bed. Likewise, when you come home from food shopping, you'll discover that putting groceries away takes a fraction of the time. You're no longer wasting minutes and muscles trying to find an open space to stuff those boxes of cereal. Instead, you know exactly where to replenish them on the shelf.

For kids, this method is especially beneficial. If they know precisely where their toys belong when they're not playing with them, for instance, it will be much easier for them to learn how to clean up and to actually do it on a regular basis. According to Shira Gill, you want to keep the sections broad such as cars, dolls, blocks, and so on, to avoid overcomplicating things when tidying.

In fact, the whole idea of getting organized is to simplify your home. The 'like with like' rule, alongside other methods such as decanting and file folding, are merely tools in your organizational box to use to your advantage. Try it out for yourself to see how sorting your stuff by category can improve your life.