What's so difficult about organizing anyway?

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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.

Jane Dolan

Jane founded Jane Organizes in 2008 after a 20-year stint at a Design + Build firm in San Francisco. Jane loves working with rebels and dreamers, co-creating homes they will love. The KonMari Method™ is Jane's organizing tool of choice, after drinking the elixir in 2014.