Most of us have some idea in our minds about what “prime real estate” means. We sometimes use this phrase to discuss a particularly good location, a convenient parking spot or even (according to the Urban Dictionary) a desirable person.
We probably also think of the first rule of real estate: location, location, location. We have all heard this saying and have some idea of how it works when buying a home. But what does it mean inside the house?
Prime real estate inside your home consists of the most valuable, in-demand and high-traffic areas. It is particularly important that you keep these areas clutter-free and maximally functional.
These crucial places are common to most of us. For instance:
The Space Directly Inside the Main Door of Your Home
Everyone needs to use this small space many times a day, and it has to serve a lot of functions. Shoes, bags, coats and mail get deposited and (hopefully) taken back out of here. This is where we often put packages to be returned?, items to be donated or anything else that no longer belongs in the house. The combination of high use, small size and multifunctional nature makes this the queen of prime real estate.
This is the sweet spot on your kitchen counter, the part of the counter you find yourself working at without thinking why. Maybe it has the best light or the cabinet handles are at just the right distance so they don’t feel like they’re going to poke your eyes out, and it has the best access to the fridge or the stovetop.
This is where you prepare food, unload groceries and make your muesli in the morning. For some reason, it always seems to be the smallest piece of the counter, so guard it with care. It is prime real estate.
The Dining or Kitchen Table
You’re probably starting to get the picture now. Homework is done here, mail is sorted here, meals are eaten here and guests are entertained here. It needs to be many things to many people, sometimes at the same time.
Teeth are brushed, blush is blushed, underwear is washed and water is sloshed on the bathroom counter. This tiny space has to do so much. If you have a small countertop, things are probably falling off it onto the floor on a daily basis. Prime. Real. Estate.
If your prime real estate is cluttered or filled with décor rather than the tools you need and use every day, it can be exponentially disruptive to the functioning of your house. For example, if your main entryway is clogged and can’t be used for preparing to leave the house, your kitchen counter or living room floor will end up taking the brunt of the task.
And, to take it further, if your kitchen counter is doing the job that should be done in your entryway (i.e. holding mail to go in or out, keys, purses and packages to return), then you might find yourself frustrated when trying to find enough counter space to prepare meals. If the shoe racks in your mudroom are full, piles of shoes might be sullying the beautiful living room you always envisioned as the showcase of your home.
Much like the body, the home is a living system and when something gets clogged up in one area, something else has to give.
If you feel overwhelmed by your clutter or if things just aren’t flowing well in your house, start by tidying your prime real estate for a maximum return on your organizing time and energy. This is good news for those of us who are not naturally neat: You don’t have to keep everything clutter-free, but keeping these areas tidy might make you feel better about putting off tackling the craft room yet again.