Organization is good, unless it gets in the way of living. The key to living more simply is to shed the things that aren’t important to you. If organization is something you feel you should do, rather than something that you want to do – then don’t obsess about it.
Before we figure out how to get organized, the first question we need to answer is do you need to be more organized? There is no point in walking down this path if it’s unnecessary. We are looking to simplify your life, not give you more things to worry about.
- Does your home or office make you feel stressed out?
- How does it make you feel if things are out of place (ex. toys on the floor instead of the toy chest)?
- Do you wish your home ran more smoothly?
- Do you find yourself hunting for things (keys, wallet, glasses)?
- Do you find yourself buying the same items more than once because you either can’t find the first one or forgot you had a duplicate?
- Would less clutter in your home make you feel warm and fuzzy?
- Do you feel you should be more organized because everyone is doing it?
- Do articles that contain the words “how to get organized” cause an immediate headache?
What did you figure out? Do you still want to learn how to get organized?
I often feel pressure to be super organized and super tidy. I finally realized that the ticket for me was to find the Goldilocks level – just right. I like my house and office to be in some semblance of order (it drives me nuts when I can’t find things), but it does not bother me at all to have some clutter around.
I don’t care if everything matches or looks just so as long as the objects in my house fulfill some purpose. The purpose can be as simple as making me happy.
How Do I Begin?
Let’s get started with some how to get organized tips and tricks I’ve stumbled onto.
The amount of organization that is right for you is not right for anyone else.
Remember that simple living is about finding what works for your life – not your neighbor’s lives, not your co-worker’s lives, not your parent’s lives.
True organization is about being able to find what you’re looking for when you need it.
Seems simple right?
Never leave a room without something in your hand.
There is nearly always something in every room that doesn’t belong there. Since you’re already there and on your way out – pick up something that doesn’t belong in the room you’re in, but does belong in the room you’re headed for.
Do a little organizing – every day.
Whether it’s 15 minutes of decluttering or 15 minutes of filing, take action every day.
Everything needs a “home”.
My worst organization problems came from a pile of things that had nowhere to go – papers that might need to be filed, an overwhelming amount of schoolwork papers, a screw I found on a desk that might belong to something important, etc.
If you get something out, put it away as soon as possible.
When you’re done with something you were using, put it back in its place in your house/office/garage. The longer it stays out – the easier it is to say “the house is a mess anyway – what’s one more mess?”
As strange as this sounds, limit the number of flat surfaces in your home.
Flat surfaces are disasters waiting to happen. Do you have that little corner of the kitchen counter that collects stuff? What about the kitchen table? Your bed? I always have the urge to add more surfaces since you always need more places to put things, but have decided I’m better off clearing off the flat surfaces that are already in my house.
Organization is not a destination, it’s a journey.
I’ve made the mistake too many times of getting one room organized, only to find that it returned to its prior state within weeks or months. The initial big push to get organized must include some thought and planning into how to maintain what you’re accomplishing.
Build an organization station in a main part of your living space.
We all need somewhere to put papers, write notes, post appointments, etc. The more members of your family, the more you’ll need this. I only recently adopted this practice and I can’t begin to express how much easier it is to find things.
Don’t get organized if you don’t need to.
Being organized is both a blessing and a curse. Don’t let yourself get carried away. Simple Lifers only do what they need to do to make life easier, not any more than that.
Follow the one-in-one-out philosophy.
If you buy a new T-shirt, give away an old one. If you buy a new comforter, give away your old one. It’s tons easier to get organized and stay organized if you aren’t dealing with ever increasing amounts of stuff.