I used to believe being organized looked a certain way – something out of the pages of a magazine. I longed for a pantry full of neatly arranged Tupperware and a linen closet ala Martha Stewart. The realities (at least for me):
- There is always something that won’t fit in my neatly arranged containers.
- The people I live with don’t have the time/energy/interest to fold sheets and towels to my specifications.
- Some days, I don’t have the time or energy to maintain these systems.
Myth buster # 1: Being organized has nothing to do with what your space looks like. It’s about the sense of flow in your life.
Being organized is a feeling. It is the sense of calm and self-confidence you have when you know you can:
- Find what you need, when you need it. (Car keys, meat thermometer, tax receipt, or whatever).
- Get where you need to be on time.
- Easily pull together the things you need for your regular activities. For example: a reasonably healthy meal from the items in your kitchen, appropriate gear for a bike ride or a winter outing with your family, or the paraphernalia you need to engage in your favorite hobby.
Why do we believe our house should resemble a magazine spread?
There are many things that perpetuate this myth. Here are a couple:
- The pictures in magazines and advertisements themselves. They are geared to evoke certain emotions in us. And they all have one thing in common – they’re static. Real life is not. Far from it. Real life is constantly moving and changing. And so is all our stuff. Now I’m not knocking tupperware or Martha Stewart – I love them both. But unless you live alone and have unlimited free time, there will always be pockets of “disorganized looking” stuff in your life.
- The perfectionist trait. While this trait is extremely common, it is a double-edged sword. It can spur you on to do amazing things in your life, but it can also be exhausting and unattainable. Like everything in life, balance is the key.
The Truth About What Organized Looks Like
In reality, the old adage “Clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy” can easily equate to being organized.
What about you? Are you more concerned about aesthetics or being able to find things. What makes you feel organized?