You have ten thousand rolls of film, rolls of tape, hair ties, index cards, nail clippers…you name it. But you can never find them when you need them, so you are forever buying new ones…only to find them immediately after bringing said object home.
Create a temporary “staging area,” of “gathering place,” for said object. Whenever you come across that object, move it appreciably closer to the staging area. Eventually you will start to have a small collection of that item in that specific location. Once you have almost all of the stray items collected, you can decide where the “home” will be. Or not. Maybe the staging area becomes home. Whatevs.
This started with rolls of tape. I had tape everywhere, until I needed it, then couldn’t find a single roll. So I randomly designated a drawer as the temporary tape drawer, until a better location could be found. If I were in my bathroom, for example, and found a roll of tape in a drawer, I’ll put the tape by the door. When I walked out the door, I’d pick up the tape and take it to the furthest location I was headed to in the direction of that temporary tape drawer. So let’s say, in the hall. The next time I’m heading down the hall and have a free hand, I pick up the tape, carry it to the next furthest location closest to the temporary tape drawer. And so on. Now, if I was heading to the kitchen, and passed right by the temporary tape drawer, then of course I’d go right there and drop it off.
I started calling these “gathering places.” And I joke it is: “The Magic of Gathering.” Some of you might get that.
Eventually, I’d have these awesome Tape Gathering places, or Rolls of Film, or Envelopes. What’s great about this is that 1) my perfectionism isn’t getting in the way of organizing and 2) the constant, creeping progress is easy to sustain. It’s a way of life now. I’m really proud of the fact that I always know where the batteries are. Or the light bulbs! Or the wrapping paper! I feel more organized that I probably am, but the positive emotions and reinforcement will keep this virtuous cycle going!