If you’ve been following along in my month of organisation you’ll know that I value order in my life above pretty much everything else. There’s one thing though that I have no control over and that’s other people’s shit in my house. Sometimes it’s my own fault because I’ll borrow a jumper from my mates place and wear it home but other times it’s totally their fault. Like when my bestie stays at my house when I’m away and somehow she never takes any of her stuff with her when she leaves, so I end up with an inexplicable stack of 6 hats in the corner of my living room for weeks after I get back. Here’s a few techniques to try to make sure your house stays free of other people’s shit.

How To Get Other People’s Shit Out of Your House

Facebook Shout Out

I’m forever finding books, CDs and DVDs in my house that I’m 100% sure don’t belong to me but I have no clue who they actually belong to. So I’ll take a photo of the item, post it to Facebook and tag anyone who might be a likely owner of the item. If no one claims it and I can’t find the owner, I ditch it. No biggie. Then if someone calls me crying in 5 years time because I never returned their DVD copy of Moulin Rouge, I’ll buy them another one. Hasn’t happened yet though. If someone claims it, I attach a post-it note to the item and put in my Returns Drawer. What’s a Return Drawer you ask? Read on, petal.

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Rather unfortunate reply from me in the end. I’m not really sure what I was aiming for there.

The Returns Drawer

I have a drawer in my house that is full of things to return to different people. Right now there’s about 3 jumpers, a couple of Tupperware containers, some books and about half of everything my best mate owns. I used to have a pile of crap sitting next to the door but it made me so angry I had to create the returns drawer so I didn’t have to keep looking at the pile. The beauty about the returns drawer is that it’s usually filled with stuff from people who you see all the time because they’re the ones that are most likely to have left their stuff at your house. If I’m meeting a friend that I see regularly, I check the draw for their stuff and take it with me. Easy peasy.

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The Invisible Door Laser

Well meaning relatives and friends will often clear out their own cupboards and insist that the items they don’t want must immediately find a new forever home at your house. No matter how many times you refuse they will insist that you take the ‘perfectly good punch bowl’ and get some use out of it. My philosophy is that if I’ve refused an item three times and someone gives it to me anyway, I’ve earned the right to ditch it on my way home. I have an Invisible Door Laser that doesn’t allow items like this to cross its path. For example 2 years worth of New Idea magazines that my friend’s mum palmed off on me? THOU SHALL NOT PASS! A super ugly, free-with-purchase vase that I tried to refuse as the pushy sales assistant shoved it into my bag? THOU SHALL NOT PASS! Treat items like this as the plague they are and remember the catch phrase… THOU SHALL NOT PASS!

Just Say No

I live in Fitzroy in Melbourne where space is scarce and the population is transient. I currently have about 6 boxes belonging to various friends in the storage cage of my apartment. This is not a problem at all, because I’m not looking at it. I don’t even know it’s there most of the time. However I have a friend whose OS boyfriend is storing boxes at his place IN HIS KITCHEN. They are stacked in the corner of the kitchen, driving him mental on a daily basis. Hells no. If you have space and you don’t mind, then fine. If you end up having to make a table out of someone elses boxes of crap, just so they’ll fit in your house, it’s time to say no my friend. N. O.

imageI’d now like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the mascot of the Smaggle month of organisation. This is Jonathon The Organisation Crustacean. He’ll be around this month to give little tips and provide round ups of this months posts. He’s very serious about organisation so it’s best not to fuck with him. He was created by my super talented artist friend Arran Mckenna of Draw Fun Stuff which is a very funky drawing school in Canberra. If you’re keen to learn how to draw things good and learn to do other stuff good too his next lot of classes start on 11th February. 

 * Do a Facebook shout out or send around a group text to find the owner of rogue items.

* Have a Returns Drawer and check it regularly so you can return items to their owners.

* Don’t bring any crap into your house. Ever.

* Just say no.

Is your house full of other people’s crap? How do you keep it under control?