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January 2, 2014
The Real Issue
Keeping Track of Scissors
by Cyndie Swindlehurst


I think my scissors have legs. I can never find them when I need them. Is there a trick to keeping track of scissors around the house?


There is an easy way to keep track of your household scissors, if you are willing to do it. Like many ousehold solutions, you will need to spend a little money, do some careful thinking, and use a lot of discipline.

Here is what to do, in three steps.

Step One: Spend a little money.

The next time you are at Costco or shopping online, buy yourself five or six pairs of sturdy scissors with comfortable-looking grips. If you have a large home, buy more. (I know some people who keep a pair of scissors in every room of the house.)

Don’t get cheap scissors that will dull, rust, nick, and bend. But don’t spend a lot on any single pair; you want nice scissors, but not anything you will be disappointed to lose or ruin.

I suggest you buy a multi-pack in which a decent variety of scissors has already selected for you. You should have a pair of sturdy kitchen shears that can cut meat and cardboard, and several other pairs that can easily wrap gifts, open packaging, and make visual aids for Primary.

Buying scissors will probably cost you less than forty dollars. Forty dollars is not a huge sum to pay for the convenience of having scissors when you need them. And if you follow step two and especially step three below, you will probably have these scissors for the rest of your life.

Step Two: Do some careful thinking.

Think about when and where you need to use scissors. Then, put a pair of scissors everywhere you usually need them. Put a pair with the tape and wrapping paper. Put a pair in your knife block or kitchen drawer. Put two or three pairs in your pen jar and in your desk drawer.

Keep a pair with your sewing equipment and a pair with your craft stuff. Have some in your bathroom (but not the kids’ bathroom, if the kids are small). Keep a pair where you sort the mail or clip coupons and recipes. Keep a secret pair in your sock drawer that no one knows about but you.

An obvious warning is to keep scissors away from small children. Children should be taught and trained how to safely use, handle, and walk with scissors. But until they master the skill of not cutting clothes, hair, books, or upholstery, scissors should be kept out of reach.

You could keep them in your medicine cabinet, on a high shelf, in an upper cupboard, on top of the refrigerator, or locked away with the Sharpies (which are, in my opinion, the most dangerous item in any home).

Step Three: Use a lot of discipline.

The final and crucial step to keeping track of your scissors is to always put them away when you are finished with them. Putting them away is something you should do immediately — not later.

If you are not used to putting things away, this will take some effort. Fortunately, it should not be difficult to do if you have designated a home for your scissors that is near to where you have been using them.

For example, imagine you want to wrap a gift at the kitchen table. You get out the wrapping paper and fetch the tape and scissors from the kitchen drawer. Then, when you are done wrapping, you immediately put the scissors and tape back in the kitchen drawer.

You don’t leave them on the table or put them on a shelf. You put them away. It will only take you ten seconds, so you should do it even if you are in a hurry.

If you always put your scissors away after you use them they are much less likely to grow legs and wander around your house.

However, if you live with other people who are not as diligent about putting away the scissors when they finish with them, your scissors will tend to wander. You can do three things to combat this.

One, if you have a young person in your home who frequently uses scissors, buy him his own pair of scissors. Make a big deal of it. Wrap them up and present them as a special, grown-up possession. Have the young person designate a special place for his scissors and let him feel the joy of caring for and excluding others from the use of his personal scissors.

Two, when you see your family members using the household scissors, ask them to put the scissors away when they are finished with them. Don’t just threaten, “Hey — if you lose those scissors, you name is mud!” Instead, say “Eric, when you finish rigging that pulley, would you please put the scissors back in the desk drawer.”

Three, and most importantly, when you find scissors lying around, pick them up and put them away.

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