“Organization is about crafting the life you want and what you need to support that life”, Susan A. Stone, Professional Organizer, Living Peace, LLC. Don’t just move things around, hide them in the shed, or tuck them in a drawer. It’s not about buying boxes, labeling them and putting stuff into them, tucking them in closet and file cabinet, never again looking at them. To get organized you need to answered the question “What to toss what to keep and why?”
Getting organized is as much a mental act as it is physical action. Organization is a system or method used to support you functioning effectively and efficiently in a given environment. Organization supports to you to be more productive in the space and time you have. You are in control when you are organized.
“Everything in its place and a place for everything”, Isabella Mary Beeton, in The Book of Household Management, 1861; this idea marries beauty and function. An organized space is incredibly soothing. An organized mind is calm and creative. You are the boss of your life. You are the boss of your stuff. Here are two examples of form and function marrying beautifully:
Julia Child’s kitchen is now a national treasure on display in the Smithsonian Museum. It was a treasure to her because it was simple, practical and therefore beautiful. On the pegboard were outlines of everything. It would be clear to anyone where each pot and pan belonged. In it form and function elegantly married and she could focus her exuberant energy into cooking.
Racecar cockpits. I have never been in an NASCAR® or Formula 1™ vehicle, but I imagine the cockpit is designed such that everything the drivers needs is quickly, instinctively accessible. When you are roaring around a track at speeds at 180 miles per hour and up, you don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find something. The design is all about making performance the best it can.
“Clutter is the dark side of abundance” declared a friend of mine. We tend to feel anxious in a chaotic space. Getting organized can too feel overwhelming. “I don’t know where to start”, sound familiar? To me there are two primary reasons why this is the case. One, living a world of throw-away items and quick fixes we tend to accumulate quantity instead of things that are lasting and perfect. Those items so right you don’t need anything else. Two, life changes over time, for better or worse, during those periods or when our time is absorbed by multiple priorities, we often discover that our life systems and methods for organizing no longer fit. This misfit generally leads to frustration and disorganization. Let’s be honest we are our own worst enemies when it comes to getting organized. We all tend to keep things because ‘some day I’ll need that’- even if we have not used it in 6 months, or 6 years.
How to start getting organized? Susan advises always begin organizing with a vision for every room and space, ask yourself “What is my goal for this space?” Know where each item is going to be in that space. If something does not fit your needs or goals, you may need to let it go. This includes the inherited pieces of china and glassware. If it is important to you get it in your life and use it. It is just stuff. If something breaks that is not a reflection on your love for your Grandparent. You will not lose the memories of that person, just an object.