3 Simple Organizing Truths That Can Change Your Life
Sometimes it just takes the way someone says something for it to click for you. I hope that happens for you today.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much you have and much there is to do, know that it is possible to get out under of it. And it just so happens that they are all incredibly easy concepts that you can start implementing in your life right now.
I hope they help get you moving and ahead of where you are. And know that it is possible to change. I went from a pack rat to a house that’s always ready for company. I no longer have to clear off the bed in order to go to sleep. And I can find everything I need to in an instant.
Ahhhh. This is the life.
Now let’s make it yours, too!
Here are 3 simple truths that once you really take them in and decide to follow them, will absolutely change your life.
1. The less stuff you have, the less you’ll have to organize, clean and manage
See? It’s such a simple thing, but often it takes years to really get this. After all, you’ve simply become so used to being surrounded by so much stuff. It’s almost a comfort at this point, isn’t it?
But when you start to clear away the clutter – papers, books, magazines, clothing, toys, knick knacks, etc. – a wonderful thing happens. For the first time, you’ll really see what you have. You can find what you need because there’s nothing in front or on top of it.
Having less stuff eliminates all the problems you are currently facing – cleaning, organizing, finding things and managing your space, time and energy, to name just a few.
You don’t have to get rid of everything in the next 2 days but once you start, it will be easier to continue on to the rest. And one day, perhaps even soon, you’ll have a manageable space that you feel good in!
2. It’s not about being perfect and/or a minimalist
When you’re trying to navigate your way through the clutter and mess, the idea of everything being perfect with completely clear surfaces and a zen-like feel often comes up. I think that’s what magazines have led us to believe. But it’s not true.
Everything is in constant motion and there are going to be days where everything’s strewn about and dishes are piled in the sink. That’s absolutely okay. It’s okay to be messy as long as it doesn’t take long to clean it up and it’s not the state of the entire house.
For example, my desk changes throughout the day to serene surfaces to piles of mail, magazines and papers everywhere. It might even stay like that for 3 days. But eventually everything will go back to its home and it will feel peaceful again.
Until the next deadline and all the papers burst out again…
3. When something comes in, something goes out
This is another concept that takes awhile to get the hang off. After all, you haven’t had to get rid of anything thus far, right? Uh, that’s why you’re surrounded by a room full of stuff…
This is something that will continue on though, long after you’ve cleared away all the items you no longer want or need and just have what is essential to you. And that’s something you have to get used to – the continuous recycling of items.
If I get a new top, another gets donated. When it’s time for a new laptop bag, I’ll donate the old one. This applies to kitchen stuff, furniture, anything other than things like stationery which get used up.
What it all means
We have become accustomed to putting things in another closet, the spare room or basement because there is enough room. Living in a small one-bedroom apartment with my fella and our big cat (where I also happen to work at a little white rolltop desk at the end of the bed) has taught me that you cannot just consume and expect space to just open up for you.
What if you had to move to a smaller place? Would you really hold onto that commemorative People Magazine from 1983? Do you really need 3 teal tank tops?
When you have less, it means so much more.
Stephanie Dickison is the author of the recent book, The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy About Writing & Working From Home, which covers her career as book, music and restaurant critic. She has been a journalist for over a decade and now spends much of her time writing about travel, food, beauty, style and celebrities for various publications and websites.
When she’s not writing, she’s eating, cooking, organizing, filing, making lists in sumptuous notebooks (you must use your beautiful journals) and colour-coding her ever evolving calendar.
She is one of the few writers still using technology AND paper. But at least her paper is organized into pretty file folders…