A classic Tip of the Week from July 11, 2004
(This tip comes from Cindy Glovinsky's book Making Peace with the Things in Your Life.)
You're cleaning your living room when you come across one of your daughter's sweaters, which belongs in her room upstairs, and a few board games, which go in your basement rec room.
Rather than interrupting your cleaning flow by making trips to put the items away immediately, and rather than leaving them in the living room, where they don't belong, try putting them in "way stations" at the appropriate stairways. These way stations can be baskets or boxes you keep on or near the stairs; fill them with items that need to go elsewhere in the house, and make a habit of emptying them at least once a day. (Enlisting the help of others in the family to help clear out the way stations is also a good idea, as it gets everyone into the habit of returning things to their proper homes.)
Using way stations will help save needless trips throughout the house, and will also help get items at least partway where they need to go.