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.
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.