Organizing is not about purging. I think a lot of people fear getting organized because they equate with parting ways with the things that they love. The opposite is totally true: organizing is about deciding what truly matters to you and cultivating a space filled with things you love and appreciate that contribute to your lifestyle.
Organizing is not about changing your system. It’s about improving your system so that it works better for you. ‘Nuff said.
Organizing is not about buying more gadgets. Just because your newly organized kitchen suddenly has space to house a new fancy juicer doesn’t mean it’s a reason to purchase a new fancy juicer. Sometimes a little blank space helps us to visually appreciate the things you already have. This, of course, does not apply if you were organizing your kitchen to make room for a fancy juicer (if fancy juice is indeed your thing).
Organizing is not about making over a space. Cosmetic changes to the aesthetic are one thing; a well-organized space is not only cosmetically pleasing because it’s clutter-free and carefully planned, it’s cosmically pleasing because it attributes to an easier workflow and a more enjoyable lifestyle.
Organizing is not about creating storage. I once had a client that I was helping move to a bigger space. She had talked about the transition for months; finally her boys were going to have enough space in their rooms for all of their toys. I agreed with her until I saw that each of her small children had bedrooms that rivaled the size of my apartment with giant, gorgeous built-ins along each wall. They were originally meant for toys; however, their new house came with a giant playroom in the basement where the kids spent most of their time. Empty cupboards meant that more clutter quickly accumulated and my client found herself in the middle of her original dilemma. It just goes to show that thoughtful editing and creative organizing are sometimes better solutions than creating more storage to house more things you don’t need or want.
Organizing is not about hiding things away. If you have cherished things that you love, display them! Do you relish looking at all of the piles of work you have to do? You’re a weirdo, but who cares? Leave them on your desk! Just as everyone has different tastes in décor, different people have a variety of organizing styles that lend themselves to a certain style or another. There’s no sense in changing your system just because you aspire to a certain look. (See Number 2.)
Organizing is not about upgrading. Just because you saw that super pretty double door fridge on Pinterest doesn’t mean you can’t organize the fridge you own currently. It’s great to have upgrading goals, but don’t use them as excuses to prevent yourself from improving your lifestyle before you improve your appliances or furniture.
Organizing is not about changing your habits. It’s about recognizing those habits and organizing your space to accommodate them. I’m normally a pretty neat person but as soon as I walk in the door I throw down my keys and they usually fall where they may. I’ve since left a pretty bowl on the shelf next to the door to collect all the shrapnel (like loose change and sunglasses) from my comings and goings throughout the day.
Organizing is not about making things pretty. Yes, organizing a room usually makes it pretty but you shouldn’t hold off on purging just because you don’t have a pretty box to put it in. Conversely, don’t fool yourself into thinking that buying even more pretty baskets and storage accessories will automatically make your space more organized- it can sometimes have the opposite effect.
Organizing is not about abundance. Giant craft rooms and majestic libraries are mouthwatering to look at, but aspiring to have these kinds of spaces can sometimes be unrealistic. I’d love to have drawers upon drawers of pretty pens or fancy baking supplies too, but having an organized space has allowed me to make peace with my reality and appreciate the things that I do have and love.
I’ve got a flexible, highly personalized approach to my organizing that’s governed by these truths- now I want to know yours! Send them at me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. Want to read more of my organizing thoughts? I’ve got a lot more that I’ve shared here.