What's so difficult about organizing anyway?

kitchen 5 VivianJohnson.jpg

It feels like it should be easy.

From the outside, the process seems pretty easy.

Find find a home for each thing. And put things in their home.

But the tricky thing about organizing is, a process that seems like it should be easy, is actually incredibly difficult. This creates a disconnect that leads us to believe we're doing it wrong, which leads to frustration, overwhelm, avoidance, and eventually to giving up.

So first, lets get one thing straight: organizing and decluttering is hard. Full stop. No ifs, ands, or buts.

If it feels like it should be easy, why is it hard?

There are a couple reasons why organizing and decluttering are easy, but the main reason I see in my work is:

Our possessions are more than just objects.

Sometimes a possession is just an object - unless you inherited your silverware from a beloved family member, you probably weren't too attached to the spoon you ate breakfast with.

On the other hand, sometimes a possession is so much more than an object.

Objects can hold memories, or experiences, or reminders. They can act as a physical connection between us-as-we-are-now and another person, or an event, or another time, or who we were.

Objects can hold hope. They can connect us to who we want to be, who we could be, who we think we should be, or the be versions of ourselves (or our loved ones).

Objects can hold fears. They can be things we hold on to just in case, or because we have nothing to replace it with, or because we've always had it, or because it was a present we're afraid the giver will ask about.

Decluttering is hard because our possessions are so much more to us than mere objects.

What are the benefits of living in an organized & decluttered home?

shelving 3 VivianJohnson.jpg

There are some obvious benefits of living in an organized home, which include:

  • being able to find the car keys.

  • being able to find everything else too.

  • not having to look at that overflowing stack of junk mail.

  • not tripping over stuff on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

  • no need to buy duplicates because you can't find that thing you know you bought that one time.

  • it's easier to get dressed in the morning.

But while the benefits themselves may be obvious, their effects on your life can be astonishing:

  • "This has lead to new habits of clearing off my surfaces, putting my clothes away at night, laying out my clothes, and getting enough rest - things I just never cared about because my space (physical and psychic) was so cluttered."

  • "...sort my priorities, focus on how to get the most done in the least amount of time..."

  • "...making the space more efficient..."

  • "...moved me into a lighter and brighter way of living."

  • "I know where things are, and my home feels more livable and less like a prison."

We have a tendency to push off decluttering & organizing our homes until we have time - because life feel too chaotic, we're too busy, we don't have the time right now.

But the thing about organizing your home is that it doesn't just effect what physically happens in you home, it ripples throughout your whole life. Making everything in your life better.

When you're not scrambling to find your car keys, it changes your whole day.

And having an organized home is about more than just knowing where the keys are, it changes how you feel, and how you approach life.