The Solution is Clear

Sometimes the solution to a household problem is so quick and simple that it feels too good to be true. But if your brain works a certain way, then it can be true for you! Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about and how you can use this solution in your home.

Horizontal Thinking 

Are you what is known as a "Horizontal Thinker"? That's someone who can't remember something unless they can see it. If the expression "Out of Sight is Out of Mind" is one of your life mottos, then this is likely an issue for you.

I address this problem in The House That Cleans Itself. Here's an excerpt…

Problem: If you can’t see it, you don’t remember it. As it relates to clutter, this is a far bigger issue than most people realize. Do you tend to forget about something if it’s not out and visible to you? Could that be one reason your house is a mess, because subconsciously you know if you put these things away you might never again find or even remember you have them? Maybe you don’t have this problem so much with objects, but you do with papers. If your desk is covered with horizontal piles, I daresay this is an issue for you. Let a piece of paper go (or, worse, place it in a vertical file folder), and you know for a fact you will forget it ever existed. 

Solution: If you are a “can’t remember it if you can’t see it” person, your main household goal must always be to set up systems that aren’t just useful but are also visible. Think see-through: clear bins, clear containers, clear drawers. Once I committed to using only clear storage, it made a world of difference! 

You also need to set up whatever memory-jogging helps you can throughout your house, such as bulletin boards, signs, labels, and reminders. Be sure to integrate them into your decor in such a way that they can easily be hidden or camouflaged when you want to tidy up.

Finally, you may need to forego vertical files almost entirely and find some other substitute for your papers. It’s not easy to live a file-free life, but you can carry this idea much further than you might think by substituting horizontal sorters, boxes, and drawers.

I must admit this has always been a problem for me, though once I figured it out and began to change my house to fit my behavior, things got much much better. Here are a few tips if you're thinking clear storage might make a difference in your home too.

1. Sometimes clear storage bins can be way more expensive than opaque ones. Keep shopping till you find affordable options, because they are out there. Usually, the more expensive versions are made of lucite or acrylic. In most cases, you don't need that; what you're looking for is plain old clear plastic.

2. I have many different brands of clear containers, but if I had to name a favorite brand, it would be Sterlite. I like the different size options they offer, and their lids are great. Rubbermaid also has some nice options. 

3. Make sure that any clear storage you use in your pantry or fridge/freezer are made to be food safe. These are more expensive, but you can't really put a price on your family's health! 

4. Watch for after Christmas sales, and you may find some good deals on clear storage bins. I got a whole bunch one year, and the only difference between those and other clear bins I'd bought in the past was that the lids for these were bright red. I didn't care! At 75% off, they were a real bargain.

5. Speaking of lids, make sure whenever you buy a new bin you always grab its lid as well. Sometimes, they can be on a different shelf in the store and you miss them entirely—and then don't even realize it till you're home and ready to use them. Trust me, I've learned this one the hard way!

Clearly Better

I hope this post is helpful to you. Be sure to check back here on Thursday, when I share all sorts of ways you can use clear storage throughout your house.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. That means when you make a purchase I earn a small commission, which helps offset the costs of this blog. 

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