Organize to Eliminate the UFOs

UFOs (unidentified found objects) are always discovered during the decluttering and organising process. Do you keep them or do you throw them away? You don’t want to keep clutter but if you throw out an item that is an important piece of a tool then you end up with broken tool as clutter also – especially if replacement parts are expensive or hard to find.

Here are some ideas on how to manage these UFOs.

Place the UFOs into a small, labelled shoebox or plastic bin. Sort through the box with family members in case they know what the objects are for. One time, shoved in a kitchen drawer, I found a small plastic object that I thought might be some sort of tool or computer part. I put it in my “UFO” box. I asked my husband about it and he had no idea what it was. However, my 8 year old was thrilled that I had found the part to his magic kit that had magically disappeared the previous month.

Once items are identified, they should be stored with the equipment to which they belong. For example, the spigot that screws into the freezer so it can be drained after defrosting could be taped to the back of the freezer in a small, labelled, zipper-seal bag.

Items can be separated based on room locations. Parts to the food processor could be stored in a labelled, decorative tin in the kitchen cupboard. Extra computer parts and cables can be stored in labelled baskets in the home office.

Sometimes the objects may be used in several places or do not belong with specific equipment. They still need a designated storage location. You might choose a kitchen cupboard or drawer or designate a spot in the workshop for these items.

There are different ways to organise these miscellaneous but important items.

Multi-drawer storage units allow the items to be easily accessed. The drawers can be subdivided to create more space. It is easy to see what is in the drawers.

As an alternative, the Stanley Professional Organizer can be used. The little yellow compartments can be rearranged easily. It is easy to see and access the items. It can also be stored upright in small, narrow spaces and each object stays in its own container.

Stanley Professional Organizer

Regardless of how they are organised and stored, it is very important to label all of the items either by writing directly on the object with permanent marker, tying a tag onto the object or placing the object in a labelled tray or bag. If these things are ever misplaced again, they won’t be considered UFOs.

6 Comments for “Organize to Eliminate the UFOs”

  1. posted by Dorothy on

    Great post!

    How I wish I’d taken the “tape it where you need it advice” when I moved into my house. My bed is held together with proprietary bolts and the bed came with a wrench. I had it with the bed when I moved it and I as able to assemble the bed.

    But I have no clue where it is now. Luckily I don’t plan to move anytime soon. But you can bet your life that when I find it I’ll be attaching it to the bed!

  2. posted by Leslie on

    Great post! Ex didn’t like me keeping the tools with the items so I resorted to a 3-ring binder with plastic sleeves and labels. When we sold the condo, it was easy to pull out the relevant sleeves (tools, manuals, warranties) and leave them for the new homeowner.

  3. posted by pat on

    We keep manuals and tools in the clear plastic zip bags that curtains etc come packaged in. The bags are sturdier than ziploc bags, and larger to hold those bigger tools and parts. we then put the bags in one plastic tub. It’s a nice way to reuse those plastic zipper bags too.

  4. posted by Patricia W. on

    I store these items in a plastic bin labeled, “Huh?”, which is kept in a high kitchen cabinet.

  5. posted by Christy King on

    When I find a UFO, I put it in a ziplock bag and write the date on the bag with a sharpie – that way if I don’t figure out what the UFOs are within a reasonable time, I know it’s pretty safe to get rid of them.

  6. posted by Patty@homemakersdaily.com on

    Love the Stanley professional organizer box for UFO’s – would make them easy to see when you’re searching for something.

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