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Mindfulness: A Fundamental Practice in Organizing

Mindfulness: A Fundamental Practice in Organizing

Mindfulness is a fundamental practice in organizing, although most people don’t think much about it. Here’s why.

Did you know one of the biggest reasons a house becomes disorganized is because we fail to place things back where they belong? 

Much of the blame for this goes to everyday absent-mindedness. And the antidote to this absent-mindedness is mindfulness. 

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens.

Mindfulness is one of the fundamental practices to live by when we wish to gain better control over how organized life can become.

 The (Lack of) Focus in Everyday Life

Unfortunately, regardless of how focused we can be when something demands our attention, everyday menial tasks, things we routinely do, and how we move around in our home or work environment usually are not focus-demanding tasks. At least, we do not perceive them to be.

When we get comfortable in specific routines, especially at home, we engage the mind in something that happened, something to come, or anything else but what lies in front of us at any given moment.

An Exercise in Mindfulness

Have you heard how a sustained focus on chewing food helps with weight loss? Concentrating on chewing achieves several things:

  • We savor the food better.
  • Digestion starts with the chewing process (it’s supposed to).
  • The brain reaches satiety with less food.
  • The body absorbs nutrients more efficiently.

Notice that focusing on chewing food is an exercise in mindfulness. I remember undergoing this process during a 12-week mindfulness workshop that I participated in. At that time, paying full attention to chewing our food, we could taste even the additives and preservatives in the food. Talk about focus!

This seemingly unrelated example illustrates how focusing attention and engaging the senses in a particular activity or life moment connect us with new information that ordinarily would have been overlooked. That is what mindfulness does. It makes us understand better what we do, how we do it, why, and how we feel about it without judgment.

Recognizing and Mending Mindless Patterns

If you need help with disorganization or feel you can’t keep up with the house, the solution might be to focus on your actions, reactions, and thoughts at home. Notice those things you might be performing mindlessly. You’ll recognize the pitfalls in your processes throughout the day. Noticing those instances will help correct the habits responsible for the home chaos. 

We could discuss many tips and tricks for this or that. We can list ways to become organized or maintain home systems. But as long as we remain mentally disconnected, habits won’t change.

Exercising mindfulness (as in being constantly present in the body and aware of our circumstances without judgment) is essential to change unhelpful patterns.

 Nothing Like This Very Moment

Have you ever heard, “In the present moment is where your power lies”? I don’t know a better quote to illustrate the power of mindfulness and focus on the NOW.

Mindless operation is what makes us place the phone in the freezer, look for our glasses while wearing them, pour orange juice in the cereal, or take the dog’s pills instead of ours (true story -this one has happened to me more than once! 😬)

If you need help organizing your time, home, work, or life, you must know that some things must change. Habits need to be modified for those things to change sustainably and significantly. Becoming mindful allows us to recognize which practices need to be adjusted. It also helps us achieve the modifications required to become more organized.

Becoming mindful takes effort – like learning to meditate, for example. However, to become intentional, aware individuals, we must learn to focus attention on the moment and be present in the body.

Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

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The Dream Closet

The closet is where you start many mornings. An efficient closet system is crucial to making your life easier, especially in a rush. Keeping your closet tidy, clean, and easy to browse through makes a difference in how you start your day.

This particular space should be your inspiration, not a morning drag.

So, let’s organize your closet and make it inviting. Respect your shoes and love your clothes. Give your closet contents the care and attention it deserves.

First Things First – Out With The Clutter

A thorough purge is critical. Your closet should support the person you are now in your life. It should be something other than the dumping ground for clothes that have fit in 15 years.

The closet is not some storage space for everything no one wants or knows where to place. It is impressive that people keep things in their bedroom closets just because they have space available. The space available is good! Be at peace with empty space rather than rush to stuff items that should not be in that space (and then complain about lack of room in the closet). Learn what your closet should contain and let all other items find their proper place in the home.

First, go through the contents of your closet and remove anything from the space other than clothes, shoes, handbags, travel bags, accessories, and other things you wear. Leave in suitcases, though.

Once everything that does not belong in your closet is out of the area and reallocated, it is time to sort through what should go there.

Discard clothes that don’t make you feel fabulous. Discard what looks old, dated, damaged beyond repair, or does not fit you. You will not wear these things, no matter how long you keep them. Besides, having a closet full of petite clothing or something you don’t like wearing does not support you. Rather than inspire you, these clothes will subconsciously remind you of everything you can’t wear. There are better ways to start the day than that.

You’ll be amazed at the space you get back if you objectively look at your clothes and purge.

And from now on, stay on top of your closet management. When you realize that a clothing item is unflattering, unwanted, in bad shape, or no longer fit, remove it from your closet immediately. Practice keeping a basket or nice-looking bag in your closet to place these items at once.

Assess The Space & Inventory Your Stuff

Consider the type of item you’ll hang versus what you’ll fold, the number of items in each category, and the area where each group should go. These elements determine the type of containers, sizes, and style. So, this step comes before buying any storage solutions.

A common mistake is to buy containers before doing the work with decluttering, sorting, organizing, and allocating spaces for your things. First, you must assess what you’ll need to contain and where these things will live. To determine this, you must remove what does not belong in the closet and re-evaluate the clothing. This is the only way to know, realistically, how many hangers you need, how much long hanging, short hanging, or double hanging space you’ll need, for example.

In considering storage space available, it is common to overlook vertical space. However, some walls and behind doors are suitable areas where we can store many items. Just ensure that things placed behind doors don’t interfere with those doors opening freely.

Crafting The Closet – Must-Haves

Lighting

Chandeliers, track lights, light inside closets, and under-shelf illumination are some options that make a closet look magical. At a basic level, the closet space needs good lighting. The lighting system you choose must increase functionality but also enhance the ambiance. That ambiance is all in the lighting! Usually, a mix of yellow light and white light works best.

Body-Length Mirror

A body-length mirror is a must in every closet. It serves a practical purpose because you must see the whole outfit on your body. But a long mirror also helps create that elegant atmosphere we all admire in amazing closets. The location of this mirror will depend on the space available. It can be installed on a wall, behind the closet door, or free-standing against the wall. However, the larger, thicker frame, the more elegant your mirror will look.

Closet Organization

Design Elements and Lighting Are Important

The Personal Touch

There must be space to express who you are. Make the closet your special place where you are glad to be. Use framed pictures or knickknacks that remind you of notable people and moments. Use these strategically and tastefully.

Wastebasket

A wastebasket is necessary for every closet (and in every home space, actually!). Get a wastebasket that complements the space décor. To make things easier, consider a trashcan with no lid.

Hamper

Have one hamper per person sharing the closet. Make the hampers look good in the space. 

If closet space is limited, place hampers in the bedroom. However, hampers should preferably be where you change clothes. 

Note that hampers and laundry baskets are not the same and have different purposes. Your laundry process determines how the closet remains organized or not.

Seating

You may need a place to sit to put on your shoes. This seat could be as simple as the tiniest ottoman or stool to the most oversized armchair (space and style permitting). Ensure your seating option fits the room in style, size, and color.

Hangers

The difference in having all the hangers look the same is incredible.

We recommend space-saving hangers because they prevent clothes from falling off the hangers or losing their shape. In addition, they save at least one-third of the space in your closet (just by switching hangers!).

And if you get the appropriate clips to transform these hangers into a skirt or dressy short hangers, all hangers will look the same in the space.

Having the same hangers throughout prevents hangers from tangling and provides a more efficient experience in your closet.

Sports shorts usually go in drawers, but dressy and cargo shorts should go on hangers to avoid wrinkles and save space in your drawers.

Pro Tip: Use two space-saving hangers for heavy clothing such as coats or jackets. That way, your hanger collection remains uniform.

Garment Bags 

Some pieces of clothing deserve the protection of a garment bag. However, avoid plastic garment bags because plastic is detrimental to the fabric. Instead, replace plastic garment bags with fabric ones.

People seem surprised to learn they should remove plastic covers from their clothes when they bring them home from the cleaners. This is because the plastic used by cleaners is detrimental to the fabric. The plastic also traps the chemical residues of the cleaning process. 

Drawer Dividers

If you have drawers, you need drawer dividers. It is that simple.

Dividers make a considerable difference in the maintenance of drawers and hold us accountable for the amount of stuff we keep in those drawers.

Measure drawers before buying dividers because these come in different widths and lengths to fit every kind of drawer. Keep in mind that drawer dividers come in various colors to match the inside of your drawers.

Closet Organization

Organization Baskets for Closet

Baskets, Bins, Containers

Accessories may end up in baskets or containers. So, where will those be? Use baskets to contain anything folded on shelves and small accessories. But you want solutions that look like they belong in the closet, not like a random selection of last-minute solutions. Use the same type of basket throughout the closet. Using baskets on shelves and niches will give your closet a uniform, elevated look.

When choosing baskets, bins, or containers for the closet, measure the spaces where these will go to ensure the right fit. You must also assess the areas to determine materials, color schemes, style, and what these will hold.

Best Practices – To Hang or To Fold

Hanging

Go for it if you can hang most of what you usually fold. It is easier to see all your clothing when everything is on hangers. And thus, you wear more of your clothes more often. Putting the laundry away by hanging it is also easier than folding it. But, of course, underwear, PJs, sportswear, swimsuits, and socks should go in drawers.

In hanging your clothes, classify them by type and then by color. For example, place all casual tops, jackets and blazers, skirts, denim, slacks, etc., together. You will efficiently select your outfits and enjoy how everything looks on hangers.

Place all your hangers in the same direction. Then, when hanging back those pieces, have the hanger facing the opposite direction. This system will let you know that you wore that item. In addition, the method lets you notice what you do not regularly use, giving you a clue on what to discard. It also helps you rotate your wardrobe more often and get creative with mixing and matching your wardrobe pieces.

Pro Tip: Always place empty hangers in a single location to avoid having to fish them out when putting laundry away. Also, your closet will look better if you isolate empty hangers.

Pro Tip: When clothes come home from the cleaners, switch out the hangers! Cleaners always hang clothes facing left, which is the opposite direction of what most people desire (if right-handed). Also, they use wire hangers, which lose their shape, get rusty, get tangled, and make the clothes lose shape. Wire hangers are the least desirable kind of hangers. Besides, you want your hangers to match your closet. And by the way, the cleaners would like their hangers back!

Folding

Whether you have drawers in your closet or a dresser in the bedroom, some clothing categories are better suited to live in your drawers. These categories are loungewear, sleepwear, sportswear (including swimsuits), underwear, and socks.

Drawer dividers have a stellar role when dealing with these categories. They will keep the contents of your drawers organized and manageable.

Spend the necessary time to fold things appropriately, though. There are also options in terms of folding. You can go Konmari-style or roll each piece of clothing. The rolling method is quick and avoids wrinkling of the clothes.

And whether you believe that the dryer “eats socks” or socks run away from you, your missing socks are probably not coming back. So, stop wasting space and effort keeping an assortment of unmatched socks. Socks are cheap, and your time trying to match them is much more valuable than the cost of a replacement pack.

Also, consider donating all your mismatched socks to a shelter. Did you know that socks are among the items shelters need the most? And when the weather is cold, having socks on your feet is invaluable. Nobody would complain of mismatched socks at that point.

If seasonal clothes take up too much space, consider packing them in air-tight bags to store underneath the bed or on a higher shelf. Since those bags get random shapes when extracting the air, consider placing them in bins that fit the area where you will store them. Bins stack neatly.

Organizing Your Closet Stuff

Accessories

Organize accessories in soft baskets that go well with the closet décor. These baskets are ideal for collecting items in some closets’ built-in niches. If you do not have those in your closet, these baskets can live on shelves. They will still provide an easier way to group accessories by category and allow easy access by pulling out the needed basket.

Consider dedicating at least one of those baskets or bins to small items needed where you get dressed, such as the lint roller, extra bra straps, collar stays, chaffing tape, heel tape, body and cloth tape, insoles, handbag replacement items (like small hand sanitizer, breath mints, mini note pad), and the like.

Closet Organization

Handbags on Display

Handbags

Handbags stored in a drawer or a closet cubby or wilted on a shelf can quickly lose shape or become ruined by creases or rubbing against each other. However, you can preserve your bags and make them look fabulous.

You can stuff your handbags with quilted shapers that preserve their shape, protecting your investment and giving the closet that coveted boutique look. In addition, it will be a more joyful experience to look at your bags while deciding which one you will take out for that day.

If you like that idea but feel the investment is for someone else, achieve the same result by inflating Ziplock bags to the appropriate size and stuffing them with them. Packing paper and bubble wrap do an excellent job as well.

You could also place your bags on special purse hangers or place your folded handbags in baskets or bins on your closet shelves. However, this last alternative is better for synthetic material bags.

Boots

There are many products in the market to preserve the shape of your boots. But the same company that makes the quilted stuffers for handbags also makes them for boots. Also, try these. However, rolled magazines and stuffing paper will also work (not very luxuriously, but they work – ensure they are not visible inside the boots).

When no shelving or cubby space is available to display your boots, hang them with special boot hangers.

Shoes

Closet Organization

Shoe Lover

Shoes should be off the floor, preferably on shelves. This way, they are easier to access and don’t get lost in the infinite depths of your closet, gathering dust. You are more likely to rotate their use this way as well.

Some closets already have unique shelving or cubbies for shoes. But if this is not your case, you can incorporate a shoe rack that makes selecting your shoes more accessible.

Sometimes, removing a closet rod and making space for a shoe wall makes sense. We know of an excellent company that specializes in walls of shoes! 😊

When space is an issue with the closet, a clever shoe solution is the over-the-door hanging shoe bag. This bag utilizes the door space to store your shoes. Please note this alternative works best when the shoe collection is small!

If your closet has shelves, particularly the highest shelf, you should have stackable shoe boxes. These protect your shoes from dust but let you see the contents. You might incorporate shoe boxes with lids or boxes with front lids that eliminate the need to remove boxes above to get that fabulous pair you want to take for a stroll. The shoe box option most uses the vertical space above your highest shelf.

Scarves 

Closet Organization

Scarves on an old fashion shoe rack

Scarves can go on hangers in your closet, in front, or behind your tops section.

Hanging your scarves prevents wrinkles and gives them greater visibility so that you might use them more often. Try using a hanger per piece.

There are specialty hangers for scarves that make a beautiful display.

You may choose to store your scarves in a drawer. If so, fold them neatly or roll them to avoid wrinkles. Then, place them in a divided drawer container or insert, preferably in a shallow drawer.

And how about repurposing an old shoe rack to create a formidable scarf display? We did that for a client once, and the result was exciting.

Belts & Ties

You need special hangers for belts and ties if you or your partner wear belts or ties. But belts bunched on a wire hanger or ties sliding off improvised solutions don’t work.

Organized Closet

Tie Hanger

Closet Organization

Belt Organization Alternative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawer space permitting, you could roll each one of these items and place them in a shallow drawer fitted with the right divided drawer insert. Rolled ties and belts in a drawer create a colorful, accessible display.

When the drawer option is deep, make two or three layers of inserts per drawer.

Hats

If you own large hats, consider using hat boxes. These preserve your hats’ shape and protect them from dust.

When space is a concern, use wall space to install hooks to hang your hats. This idea works great for caps as well.

Jewelry

Closet Organization

Jewelry Trays

Would you prefer your jewelry in stackable trays in your closet or your dresser in the bedroom? Or would you rather have a utility board on the wall to enjoy an artsy jewelry display?

If your closet is ample, you might have space to create a jewelry section. There are countless ideas to design this space so that you can enjoy your jewelry. Just check on Pinterest and be overwhelmed!

On the other hand, if your closet lacks the space to include jewelry, consider using stackable trays. Stackable trays are versatile, adaptable to your needs, and sit over your dresser or another flat area.

Before you decide on a jewelry system, though, make sure to edit your jewelry collection. All too often, jewelry is a forgotten category of items, and we tend to accumulate it without purging it.

After deciding what is still relevant, select the system that will hold the kind, size, and amount of jewelry pieces you keep. The critical factor is to have all your jewelry in one area, preferably using a single storage system.

Travel Bags & Suitcases

Only put away your suitcases and bags after emptying them first. The amount of trash collected from our clients’ handbags and suitcases is astonishing. Things get easily lost this way. Emptying suitcases and bags after every trip makes packing easier for the next one. It is easier to start fresh than to grapple with all the junk and expired products that remain in the bags from your last trip.

Befriend Your Closet

Avoid a closet that laughs at you in the morning and yells, “Ha! Good luck finding something nice to wear here.” Instead, every day, your closet should invite you in. But it is up to you to make this happen.

Keeping it in order is essential for your peace of mind regardless of your closet size. Getting ready in the morning sets the tone for your day.

Start your day with a beautiful and organized closet.

Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to! Contact My Space Reclaimed, LLC, to get professional organizing assistance.

#FriscoProfessionalOrganizer #ClosetGoals #ClosetOrganization #FriscoOrganizer #SpaceOrganizer #HomeOrganizerFrisco #ProfessionalOrganizerFrisco #ClosetDesign #HomeDesign #HomeOrganizationServices

 

 

Intentional Storage – Knowing Your Why

Intentional Storage – Knowing Your Why

Intentional storage means considering what we keep to determine how to keep it. However, in talking about storage, we must discuss the difference between putting things down and putting things away.

Putting Things Away

A simple life with fewer things means that we can adequately contain the contents of the house and develop sound systems around the use and care of those possessions.

A home that operates in this way is a home that facilitates putting things away instead of just putting something down.

Putting things down is the beginning of the end if you’d like a tidy home. 

Putting things away after using them every single time is fundamental to having a home that breathes peace and order.

And it’s much easier to learn to put things away consistently when everything has a logical, designated place in the home and everything fits its designated storage space.

Containers Keep Us Accountable

I heard Joanna from The Home Edit say something that stuck with me because it is so accurate, and I never thought of putting it into words as she did. She said: “Containers keep us accountable.”

I can see now why their organizing method always includes all that micro-organization and over-division of stuff. The more (appropriate) containerization, the easier it is to determine when our stuff is becoming too much – they’ll start spilling over.

When things start spilling over, we must decide (if we don’t want clutter to take over) what we should let go of or if that group of items has grown for a legitimate change that might require a permanent change in space planning. And this is what being intentional with the storage means.

The Why Dictates The How

Suppose you love crafting, embroidery in particular. And you have a section in your home office with all those supplies needed for your hobby. At some point, your hobby turned into a business possibility. So, you decide to pursue embroidery as an income-generating activity. Now, you’ll need much more material and supplies and probably more significant, better equipment to handle production.

In this case, it makes sense to “set shop” on a different part of the house dedicated to these activities, transform your home office into the facility you need, or even rent some industrial space. Either of these alternatives calls for a total change in how you gather, store, and use your embroidery supplies, materials, and tools.

Having a ton of new material available because your mother-in-law gave you a bunch of stuff over the holidays is not a reason to overflow or change the storage system that has worked for you so far. If you received embroidery material that you were not expecting or needing, you should decide:

  • whether to keep the new stuff and get rid of the previous material
  • sell or donate the new stuff
  • keep parts of each collection and give away the rest

The two instances are different but require an intentional decision and an action.

All that additional material will hang around the carefully appointed system and previously set containers without an intentional decision. As a result, it won’t look as contained anymore nor be as functional as it was.

When Storage Space Is Minimal

And one more thing! If the home of your dreams has minimal storage space, some “stored” items might not be concealed (as in open storage). So, when stuff needs to be in view like that, the trick is to blend that with the design and make it “disappear” from sight.

You’ll need some out-of-the-box thinking to achieve this. Finding the right storage solution means transforming potential eyesores into space enhancers, conversation pieces, and even eye candy. How about that? Are you up to the challenge?

The Hidden Magic of HGTV Design Shows

The Hidden Magic of HGTV Design Shows

When “The House Stops Working”

We all love those HGTV design shows. Whether it is “Love It or List It,” “The Property Brothers,” “Unsellable Houses,” or a rerun of “Fixer Upper,” we absorb their contents with joyful passion. But what is the hidden magic of HGTV design shows?

I recently enjoyed a “Love It or List It” marathon. Episode after episode confirmed that homeowners invariably mention that “the space no longer works” for them when they want to move or engage in a significant home remodel.

Clutter Is The Common Denominator

After establishing this fact, we then see the interior of these houses, and most of the time, we see a cluttered space that gives the impression that the home truly does not work for the family anymore. Typically, the common denominator in these homes is the clutter.

But why does the space “stop working” for a family? What does that even mean? Maybe homeowners have stopped trying to conform to their homes and instead have gone out of control, holding on to much more than they need.

They may have stopped objectively looking at their possessions altogether. Things accumulate without anyone noticing, and one day, they realize there is stuff everywhere, and they can no longer put things away even if they try. Or they can only use specific home spaces if their stuff occupies all their living space.

Please do not take me wrong. I love these shows the same as everyone else. In particular, “Love It or List It” is terrific. The dynamics between David and Hillary are fantastic, and this is one of the few shows where you see the Designer fighting for a budget to deliver her proposed plan.

I have never understood the budget distribution on these shows’ renovation projects, by the way. How can $100,000 completely renovate a home, including a whole new roof (and I don’t mean shingle replacement, but removing the entire existing roof where you can see the sky and replacing the whole thing – as I saw on “Mountain Mamas”?)

That Hidden Magic

But back to my main idea. I find it very interesting that these shows could not present their “reveal” without the staging.

Staging plays a fundamental role in the final product. The initial clutter is gone because homeowners moved out of the property during the renovation. But at the time of the reveal, we see that every area has new furniture, accessories, plants, and flowers- everything is perfectly appointed, which goes flawlessly with the new concept. Well, of course, it needs to be like this. Nothing less will do.

But the point is that we see none of the homeowners’ belongings in the space. We see hung clothes in closets, for example. It is a carefully curated selection of clothing pieces that barely occupies the space. And just like the clothes and shoes in closets, we do not see toiletries in the bathroom, the contents of the living room cabinets or kitchen dishes, or an overabundance of forgotten appliances.

What would the space look like with all the homeowners’ stuff and their original furniture? Not quite as impressive, for sure. What is the missing link here? The part they need to discuss is the staging involved.

So, the true hidden hero in those HGTV homes we love is the staging. Although the staging details are not discussed in the show to avoid diverting the focus on design, that big reveal is only possible with staging.

These HGTV shows do not discuss that if homeowners want to continue enjoying their fabulous new space when staging props leave the scene, they better reconsider the amount of stuff they keep and how they store everything in their house. That is what the organization is about.

No Organization, No Magic

Staging does not seem to be compatible with everyday day-to-day living, though. So, unless we look past the design and pay attention to the home organization and available space, the shine of the big reveal will fade as soon as clutter returns.

Staging is the true hero on these shows. But the organization ultimately makes the magic remain once reality sets in and homeowners’ stuff makes its way back into the house. Clutter the area again, and nobody will care about or even notice the outstanding design that once took their breath away.

For the homeowners to move back in and have this fantastic layout “work for them,” they need to flex those long-neglected organization muscles. Otherwise, the place will soon stop “working for them” again.

No matter what changes a space undergoes, if we don’t consider the area available and adequately manage our belongings, no HGTV design wonder will help in the long run.

There are very valid reasons to want to move or renovate a home. But when it is just a matter of the “space no longer working for us,” maybe giving the organization an honest chance saves us the costs and complexities of home renovations or moving.

Properly addressing the organization of the home makes it possible to live in a house worth a design show reveal any day of the week.

As an organization expert, I wish to show homeowners how they can live in bliss with their home environment. They can have a home and a space they love for its functionality and beauty.

That home you never knew you had? I can’t wait to show you!

A Place For Everything and Everything In Its Place

A Place For Everything and Everything In Its Place

Do You Really Need It Out There?

We all need certain things handy. I hear it all the time – “Oh, this is out here because we use it all the time, and we need it handy.” 

Let’s consider this for a moment.

If you have already purged everything that does not serve your life anymore, what you keep then is something you or your household members need.

But if we apply the same reasoning that “it’s out there because we use it all the time,” everything you own would be “out here.” 

Can you visualize the chaos?

You’d be surprised at the unused or underutilized space at home. And usually, the reasoning behind it goes: “It needs to be out here because we use it all the time.” The issue might not even be a lack of storage space!

This “everything out there” mentality reminds me of what Joshua Becker (from BecomingMinimalist.com) calls the “convenience fallacy.” On his blog, he wrote: 

“By leaving these things out in the open, we think we’re saving time when we need them, and we think we’re simplifying our lives, but the result is anything but. I call this the “convenience fallacy.” And it’s a huge source of the visual clutter in our homes.”

“Sure, by leaving them out, you may save a couple of seconds when you want to grab one of them. But for the other 99.9 percent of the time, they’re sitting out, where they create a visual distraction, get in the way, add to the disorganization of our spaces, and attract more clutter.”

A Place For Everything

To get and remain organized, you need to have a place for every item in your home. Also, after using it, you must return everything where it belongs. Do this immediately and consistently; soon enough, it becomes a habit. 

Even when you start a project or process that you can’t finish immediately, get in the habit of putting things back at the end of the day. You see, life happens, and often, despite our best intentions to finish what we started the next day, we don’t.

And it might not happen that week or even that month (sounds familiar?). There will be supplies, tools, equipment, and materials in odd places – anywhere but where these things should go. And stuff remains wherever for months and years while new, incomplete projects come into the picture. 

A few things left out of place due to frequent use will soon justify all other items we use often left out of place. And eventually, only very few things are in their rightful place in the home. By then, the chaos around the house affects your productivity, joy, sleep, and life. Worse, your mind might not be getting what your body and intuition perceive.

And it doesn’t matter how well organized the home gets to be at a particular moment. When everyday habits don’t support that order, the mess will return (and with a vengeance).

Continued Effort Is Essential

The idea behind organizing is to make life easier. Hence, in developing systems, consider item accessibility and frequency of use.

However, that does not mean that a well-organized place with great systems does not require any effort. There must be a balance between the convenience of having an organized home, the ease of using our belongings, and the effort that maintains order in the house.

Your belongings might be easier to find once everything is organized (even labeled). Still, everything needs to return where it belongs every time. After all, that’s key to finding those things again quickly.

Many people struggle to understand their disorganization at home. Some buy containers or storage solutions. Others go after the latest trend in organizing and trying various things. 

But if the basic principles in organizing are ignored, the result is less than satisfactory or doesn’t last. No fad, gimmick, or container will ever help.

The truth is that three basic steps are necessary for the organization to stick.

  • Let go of all the excess in your life (clutter)
  • Designate a proper, permanent place for every item you own
  • Place everything back where it belongs after each use. 

Those three steps are fundamental to maintaining an organized space.

Note that the first point is letting go of the clutter. You’ll inevitably have to face your clutter issue while designating a place for everything you own. Clutter must go away, and you’ll have to make critical decisions.

It’s the only way to open up the space needed to store what you intentionally decide to keep.

Let’s Help With That Initial Push

If your home has never been in top shape, you might need help with that initial organizing effort. The initial organizing of the house can be a profoundly confusing process for many people. If that is your case and you don’t know where to start, do not hesitate to seek help. We can assist you with the initial organizing but, most importantly, help you develop the systems and methods to keep your home space in great shape. Let’s chat!