Updated: Jun 12
The subject of organizing is taking over the internet these days. Downsizing, minimalism, decluttering...these are becoming household words. My mind is always drawn to these subjects, and as I think on them I'm learning some things that are new to me. I want to share some of my thoughts in this post. It’s easy to come across the obvious facts about simplifying, but there is so much that goes deeper than the obvious.
The following thoughts have been rambling inside my head for awhile now, and every now and then I make a mental note to add something else. So, before I forget them I will share with you because I really feel compelled to share these musings:
Everyone has their limit. One person may choose to live a totally minimalist life with not one unnecessary thing in their possession. But someone else may not be ready to tackle such a life changing project. Don’t feel guilty for whatever your position is on the matter.
If you are keeping things that belong to someone else, you are not obligated. Period. If what is cluttering your house is not yours, politely give fair warning and a deadline for them to pick up whatever is theirs. And if that deadline comes with no action on their part, then you can politely get rid of their stuff. No regrets. Keep your boundaries.
What does an empty drawer mean to you? Does it make you feel insecurity, emptiness, satisfaction or freedom? Just think about the fact that there is nothing in that drawer that you are responsible for, no guilt feelings attached, nothing to decide about or to do. Just so you know, I do not have any totally empty drawers. But someday I may, and when that day comes I believe I will be glad for having no responsibility for anything in there.
We “pay” in a lot of ways for keeping excess, by sacrificing our time, relationships, money, and even our peace. There are so many true benefits to clearing out our belongings (I will be exploring this topic more in depth in a future post).
Don't be afraid to have an organizer into your house. We will not judge you. We are real people who have a gift for helping other people put their homes and other spaces into functional order. We have a lot of compassion for those who need help, and are energized by the process. And we have our own organizing challenges. You might be surprised if you could see our homes on any given day.
Your thoughts about spending/buying are likely to change during and after a large decluttering project. After dealing with all of the things you had been living with but not using, and after making decisions about what to do with it all, your brain can more easily switch over to thinking in a new way: not how you can possibly live without all of it, but wondering how you actually lived with it all. This change in thinking can protect you from buying and dragging home unnecessary stuff. Remembering the piles of stuff you just figured out how to get rid of can help you to choose not to re-buy and may just keep you from getting into the same boat again.
The TV show so named has called attention to the disorder called hoarding. Please be careful not to joke about it, as in comparing ourselves or others to “hoarders”. You are not a hoarder--unless you truly are a hoarder. These people and their loved ones have a very real problem, and until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, or in the shoes of those who love them….
All along my journey as an entrepreneur, I have heard the reminder to “remember your ‘WHY’ “. The same applies to decluttering, downsizing or simplifying in any way. Don’t get drawn away by anybody else’s reasons. Keep an eye on the reason YOU are doing this. That is your ‘WHY’, and it is important to remember it and take it with you along your organizing journey.
Your space is the size that it is, and you can’t make it bigger without building on. Since you have no more space than you actually have, you can manage that space by setting some rules for yourself to keep from packing it too full or overflowing it. Here is an example: First you set a limit on how many containers of ___________ you “are allowed” to keep or accumulate, then when you reach that limit, something has to go. It is at this point that you will look at your collection of _____________ and decide what you can really live without. Even if you still love all of it, maybe you can choose one or several things to give away that would bless someone else. Then both you and the other person can be happy and your storage space for ______________ will stay in control.
As you can see, I could talk all day about the various aspects of organizing and all that’s attached to it. It is both fascinating and heartbreaking, captivating and freeing, both a state of mind and a physical state. But I will spare you and just leave you with these ramblings for now.