How to Finally Get Really Organized
I was originally going to name this post: Stop Buying S#*T. However, I realized right away that would be too harsh.
On the other hand, even a super sensitive person like myself sometimes prefers to be told exactly what I’m doing wrong when I can’t break a bad habit.
There is so much organizing advice out there, and yet, everyone refuses to put this one idea at the top of their list. Whether it’s Woman’s Day or Apartment Therapy or Real Simple or Martha Stewart, we are inundated with advice and pretty photos. Lovely containers from The Container Store, Elfa systems and IKEA products woo our collective need to contain all that our purchasing power has wrought on our homes. Like gardens left to grow into weed, lots of our consumptive patterns have filled our cabinets, closets, and garages until we have to buy storage elsewhere. Or hire someone to help us. Or hold garage sales or stoop sales. Or give our things away to people with even less space than we have.
It all boils down to one question: Are you in the habit of buying more than you need?
So first, I'm going to reflect here what I see when I'm knee deep in other people's things.
Things that I’ve noticed too much of in people’s homes:
- Office Supplies
- CDs and their cases
- Old Laptops
- Mini cassette recorders with cassettes
- Cassette Tapes
- CDRs or CDRWs
- Zip Disks
- Craft projects: shoe making, scrapbooking, unopened kids crafts
- Old picture frames
- Corroded Tupperware
- Old magazines and newspapers
- Clothes and Shoes
You know what? It isn't just that people have so much of this stuff that it breaks my heart. It's that they're really, really unhappy with how they're living. When they call me, they've finally had enough. They are isolated (can't have people over if you're embarrassed) and they feel ashamed.
They are tired and burned out looking for things they need. They can't find their passport, can't find their keys every morning and can't find the charger for the dvd player the kids need on a train trip.
They aren't enjoying the space they live or work in. Imagine: a desk so cluttered, there's no way to find a scrap paper or pen to write something down. A desk so cluttered, they have to work at the dining table. A dining table so cluttered, they have to work on the coffee table. And on it goes through the house. In fact, when they want to jot down their confirmation number for an order or a complaint they can't find a pen. So they keep buying boxes of pens on sale at Staples. By the time I'm there for a consultation, bags and bags are unearthed, more than any one person needs in a lifetime.
If this sounds even remotely like a situation you are in - I beseech you, beg you and implore you to get on the phone and call a friend or relative and ask them to help you begin to shed this way of life. Help is out there in whatever form you need. If you doubt the truth of this, shoot me an email. Wherever you are in the world, I will find a list of ways to for you to help yourself curb your buying and let go of whatever big hoard you've been saving. For free. I'm giving this away. I will find self help or professional help for you.
I'm not using this as a way to promote my organizing business because, I'm going to say it again, if you are reading this post and feel this is the way you are living, I will find resources for you for free.