As moms, homeschoolers, and entreprenuers we are constantly organizing things. We seek to keep our homes clean and our families fed; we choose the best school environment or curriculum for our kids and then implement a plan to get it all done; and we organize our thoughts and make sure we have enough time set aside for our businesses as well. But as you seek to organize all these areas of your life, have you ever stopped to think, “What is the point of organizing?”
What is the point of organizing?
The word organize according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary means to arrange by systematic planning and united effort or to form into a coherent unity or functioning whole. The second definition really hits home on what we all are trying to accomplish despite our many different approaches and styles. We want our daily tasks and routines to help our family and our businesses to function smoothly. In order for this to happen we must plan and put effort in like the first definition states.
I have a confession to make. I do not make my bed, nor do I ask my children to make theirs. I know this would drive some absolutely crazy, but I wonder, “What is the point? It will just get messed up again.” I like to minimize unnecessary work, and to me making beds falls in that category.
If an unmade bed drives you crazy you can probably list out the reasons this chore is so important. This example points out that we are all different in our approaches to homemaking, homeschool, and business. And in reality if it matters to us we will find a way to get it done.
So, “What is the point?”
The point of organizing is to bring order to what you feel is chaotic. The point of organizing is to find systems that help your home function so that your home is a place of rest and not stress. When your house starts causing you undue stress, it is time to do something about it! Clutter isn’t just about unsightly mess- studies show it affects your mental health. If an unmade bed doesn’t cause you stress, then you will struggle to find a reason or the time to make it. But if you feel your day goes smoother when you start with a clean an ordered bedroom you want to make sure it gets done.
From Minimalist to Organized Chaos – Finding Your “Sweet Spot”
We are not seeking to get you to implement any certain routine or system simply because we think it is best. This is hopefully a community of grace where you can come to get ideas and inspiration. Our only goal is to help you create systems that work for your unique personality and family.
So the action item you first want to take when seeking to organize your home is take some time to consider what is important to you when it comes to an organized home. Find your “sweet spot” in a sense. Here’s what I’m talking about…
Some people thrive in a very sparse and clean environment with no unneeded item in sight and everything in its place. Others need a quite a bit of organized clutter around them to feel calm and comfortable. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.
It’s important to realize that your house doesn’t have to be Architectural Digest perfect at the end of the day. It simply has to work well for you and your family. This means you don’t have to work from a blank desk or that the books on your shelves have to be perfectly organized by topic, author, or size. If you work better at a desk that includes a couple of family pictures, a notepad and assortment of pens, and a stress ball, then go for it. Just be careful that you don’t let the clutter take over to the point that you feel stressed when you sit down to work. It has a tendency to multiply.
The key is to find your very own sweet spot when it comes to clutter and how much stuff you have laying around. Finding the spot can be a little tricky.
To find it, start with a completely clutter-free environment. Spend the time and effort to declutter, clean, and organize until you’re left with a space that’s as sparse as you can make it. Don’t strive for perfection, but do the very best you can for your personal situation. For example, if you’re living with young children, your house will never look like a model home and there will always be toys around. That’s ok. Give it your best and use that as your starting point. If you’re comfortable there, great. If it feels a little cold and uncomfortable, start adding a few more personal items here and there. Add a comfy blanket to the couch or put a scented candle on your desk. Put a few personal items here and there and see how you feel about your space now.
Rinse and repeat until you find your very own sweet spot when it comes to “stuff” and “clutter”. Then do your best to keep it there.
Maintaining Your “Sweet Spot”
There are two important things you need to keep in mind with this idea of finding your own personal level of clutter. Chances are that what works well for you changes over time. We all go through periods in life where we need more stuff around us to feel comfortable and times when we want things more clean and orderly. It is part of life and the seasons we go through. Keep this in mind as time goes by and adjust as needed.
More importantly, clutter will sneak up on you. I’m sure you’ve experienced this first hand. You start out with a clean dining room table, put one item on it and before long the table is so covered that you can no longer see the surface.
Clutter attracts more clutter and you have to stay on top of it or it will start to take over. One of the big appeals of minimalism for many of us is that we no longer have to worry about clutter taking over. You don’t have to go that far of course. You simply need to be aware of the phenomenon and deal with it as time goes by.
Give your home or office a quick scan once a week and see if there’s an area where clutter is accumulating. Take care of it by returning items to the place they belong or getting rid of them. If you find the same spot attracting clutter week after week, see if you can come up with a solution. Maybe there needs to be a new house rule that nothing can be left on the dining room table, or maybe you can put a pretty table cloth and some candles on it in an effort to avoid the clutter attraction.
So it probably doesn’t surprise you that I fall closer to the organized chaos end of the spectrum, but I have just kind of hit that other “spot” where I am overwhelmed by the clutter and chaos in my home.
So I am going to be doing some major spring cleaning and rethinking the systems in my own home to bring the chaos to a manageable level.
So just as I encouraged you earlier, I am thinking about what actions I need to take to tame the chaos so I am not constantly feeling overwhelmed.
The first one that comes to mind is I need to do a major purge to get rid of stuff we do not use.
With 5 kids the amount of clutter that has sneaked up on me is astounding! The less stuff we have, the less there is to take care of and it makes it easier to find a home for all of it.
After I get my home decluttered and cleaned, I want to get some systems in place so that I can keep it at my “sweet spot” rather than my “overwhelmed spot”. I’m hoping Benjamin Franklin’s maxim, “For every minute you spend organizing, an hour is earned” proves true.
It’s so much easier to work in that direction when I realize the point of organizing is for my own peace of mind and comfort.
I am not trying to reach someone else’s standard of a clean and orderly home, but to set a standard that works for my family. So the beds will probably remain unmade, but my floors will stay vacuumed so the baby can’t constantly be putting stuff in her mouth.
Slowly but surely I hope to arrive at my “sweet spot” and then put in the daily effort to keep it there.
I’ve grabbed this awesome Declutter Bundle to help me along the way, I am excited about the resources I found there.
Check it out and come join me on this decluttering and organization journey!
Where are you on the Minimalist to Organized Chaos spectrum?