You have to know what you own or you can organize yourself into a lot of extra work. This is the worst that can happen to me when merchandising a retail environment. You get 95% of the way through a project and someone comes to you with a brand new shipment that needs to be included. A buyer comes to you with a new collection that will be delivered and should be displayed front and centre. You find another pair of black pants in the back corner of the store that should be right up front where you've already completed the display. It means more work and nothing is worse than doing double work.
The same thing happens to you when you tackle the organization of the home by location vs category. If your shoes are in multiple locations you will likely never complete decluttering them and organizing them until you pull them all together. This is the trap I fell into until I discovered Marie Kondo's KonMari Method™. I never got through the front entrance closet. I never got through the seasonal clothing storage because I was too busy focusing on the clothing storage in my bedroom. When I finally got the magic of tidying by category vs location I went from being organized on the surface to truly organized.
If you don't know what you have you will never know what to build is usually how I approach most merchandising projects. I can build it, but if it's not the reality then it won't work. The same is true for your home. Be diligent and through when you are pulling together all the items of a specific category or sub category. If you are decluttering all the pens and writing implements in your home have you really pulled them all together? Only when you have can you be sure that you have decluttered successfully and are not sitting on excess. You can then give them the proper home and no longer be running around trying to find a pen that works.
There are some instances where you feel like you are tidying by location just based on the fact that all those items are in one spot, but don't be fooled. For example you could be tidying the garage, thinking that is tidying by location. But think about the sub categories found in that space. Tools, gardening supplies, sports gear, etc. If these categories have other items placed elsewhere in your home they need to be pulled together for the sorting and decluttering phase. If not what happens is that one gets neglected, forgotten and unused, turns into clutter. Let's take the example of screwdrivers. If you have the screwdriver in the junk drawer, the screwdriver in the garage and the screwdriver in the tool box in the garage, where do you go first to find a screwdriver? And why should they be taking up space in three separate areas of your home? Put them all in one place, determine which ones are keepers and put them in one home.
A walk through of your space is how we start working together. It involves all nooks and crannies and is the mental equivalent of taking inventory and assessing storage space to ensure that we tidy successfully by category and make sure that each locations space is maximized. Fresh eyes, a fresh approach and you will be tidy once and forever.