A few years back I hit up Bed Bath and Beyond for the first time. I swear there were little angels standing at the end of each aisle singing, ‘Thou shalt be organized! Goest for it girl! Buyeth all the things!’
So, of course, I dropped some dolla dolla billz on the most practical home organization products I could get my hot hands on.
If by practical I mean that I just really loved the pattern and therefore I NEEDED it. Shopping Justified!
That is clearly why my ‘utility drawer’ is so well-managed……
And my cleaning pantry is organized and functioning like an adult who can adult is running this show……
Maybe these messy enclosed spaces are less that I can’t adult on the regular. Maybe I struggle with them more because I bought into ‘Home Organization Like Pinterest Says‘ the way I did with so many ‘good moms do this‘ myths.
As I dive into minimalism and begin looking for ways to organize my home my eyes are being opened to the MYTHS I believed about home organization. Let me preface this by saying, everything I learned about how a home should be organized was off of Pinterest.
Here is what Pinterest won’t tell you about Home Organization.
Stuff can’t be organized until purging has happened.
You can go out and buy the cute organizing cubes and compartments, but you can’t bring them home and expect that they will make all your ‘stuff’ instantly organized and harmonious. If you organize your clutter, it is still clutter.
Instead, you have to purge, then purge some more….then go buy the cute bins and trays for what you have left.
Case in point, don’t buy toy storage until you have decluttered the toys. Or you will end up with a toy storage unit that becomes part jungle gym.
Organization can’t all happen in just one place.
I have cleaned out my office hutch countless times and a week later it always looks like this… The main reason is that I am trying to make it storage for too many things: office work, home papers, kids crafts, yoga supplies, meal planning lists, candles, printer supplies, and my ‘obviously important collection of half empty binders that I am totally going to reorganize’.
Spaces like this can’t be crammed with so many purposes and still function. Despite my best efforts to make this a hub of organization, it just isn’t working.
There is no set it and forget it.
I mean, I empty my purse and pack it all nicely with just the necessities of the day. By the time I come home at the end of the day it’s full of cracker crumbs, three new rocks, a baby shoe, two empty water bottles and I’ve lost all my bobby pins! Now I COULD go through it all at the end of the night and clean it out, but I’m lazy and need to finish this season of Outlander (but seriously! have you seen it!? you tell me if you have we need to talk!!).
Organizing is just like this, you have to put the systems in place, then stay on top of them! Although decluttering my home has made it way more manageable to keep clean, I still don’t want to spend my evenings cleaning. Clearly, I’m not the person to come to for advice on this subject. Setting myself up for success (e.g. cleaning the kitchen at night and going to sleep at a reasonable hour, etc.), this is an area of my life that I am working on.
It won’t look like Pinterest.
There are some stellar organizing ideas on Pinterest. Just remember, these are well-timed curated snapshots. This is someone’s job to design and photograph this organized space. Where are the photos of the mudroom lockers with backpacks toppling out their contents, mismatched shoes scattered across the floor, and three big piles of paperwork to be filed away?
For the rest of us with dirty windows and Legos all over the table, real life is being lived in our somewhat organized homes. And living life shouldn’t be a neat and tidy experience.
You aren’t missing out on a big secret. There is no fool-proof organization system that will magically make your home tidy, at least not if you also live in that home.
Being organized is about living the life you want to live.
It’s more than stuff, it is our time.
We don’t feel organized unless we are able to enjoy the lifestyle we want as well. Do you want to read your stack of unread books? Get dressed with ease in the morning? Meal plan like a boss? Home organization feels like it will be a solution to our chaotic life. But if it is just putting clutter into cute bins, it is not valuable to us.
We can’t pursue home organization to be the solution until we identify what it is that we DO want out of life? What makes us feel productive, passionate, purposeful?
In my experience, decluttering is the first step to making space to think about the vision I have for my life, my home, my family, etc. Then, next steps are to slowly bring in systems into my life that will help me achieve these visions.
When I am organized in line with what I want out of life, then I will truly FEEL organized. Despite how messy it may look on the outside. Life is messy and I want to SHOW UP FOR MY LIFE!