Minimalism and maintenance. Neither word inspires warm fuzzy feelings yet in my ten years of organizing experience I can vouch that without these two ingredients, living an organized life is impossible. Let’s start with minimalism:
“Less is more.” This is a phrase I often use when meeting a potential client. The less we have the more organized and productive we’re going to be. I’m not talking about living a hippy life-style, in a bare cottage with a table, two chairs and a mattress on the floor. We’re fortunate to live in a society of plenty but the trap many of us fall into is excess. Stores encourage us to buy in bulk. “Two for the price of one or 50% off the 3rd item!” Saving money appeals to us all, yet we often end up purchasing an abundance of too good to miss deals. What happens? Our homes lack the storage space to house our bargains which generates clutter in our homes. This leads to re-purchasing items because either we can’t find them or we simply forget what we have.
Personally speaking, my home is filled with lovely things. A painting from my time in Kazakhstan, decorative objects that remind me of my hometown in England. It’s not a bare bones home, yet neither is there any clutter. Every item in my home is something I love, need or use and because of this I know where everything is located. When I was growing up, my mother always had an unspoken rule. As soon as she started using an item, she’d buy a backup. This way, she never ran out of an item but she also never amassed large quantities. I believe my mother lived a perfect example of minimalism. Our passion at The Organizing Professionals is to create similar environments for our clients. The fewer items we possess the more stress we shed from our lives.
So, now you’re a converted minimalist. Your home is clutter-free. Mission accomplished right? Alas, no. Without maintenance, disorder will creep back into the most highly organized home. Whether we’re innately organized or not, most of us live highly scheduled lives. We get to work or school on time, we schedule appointments with the doctor, we go to the gym, but have you ever scheduled an appointment with yourself to go through your paperwork or organize your closet? I recommend my clients schedule either weekly or bi-weekly appointments with themselves to work on their papers, pay bills, do laundry etc. We accomplish more when we schedule appointments even when we’re only accountable to ourselves.
And what about the small everyday tasks? It only takes a few seconds to place clothes in the laundry hamper or hang them up but if we avoid this task, our bedrooms quickly become overwhelmingly messy. By the end of the week we’re facing a task that looks like it could take an hour or more. This is where maintenance becomes your friend. When we tackle life’s small tasks on a regular basis, we conquer the build-up of clutter.
From all of us at The Organizing Professionals, we wish you a happy, organized and productive new year. Please do not hesitate to contact us to help you reach your organizing goals.