When I tell people I am a Professional Organiser one of the common reactions I get is, “Oh my goodness don’t come to my house, you’ll have a fit! It’s so untidy.”
Let me tell you a secret… being tidy is not the same as being organised.
Often when we think about being organised we think about aesthetics. We equate beauty with order. A functioning orderly home can be beautiful, but it doesn’t have to be.
To me, being organised means structuring your environment in a way that makes life simple and stress free. If you can easily find your car keys, your kids are wearing clean clothes and you have fresh food in the fridge, congratulations! You’ve earned the right to call yourself organised (or at least somewhat organised!)
Recently I was working with a lovely client on her kids’ bedrooms. She’d done a great job of labelling her kids’ drawers so the children could find their clothes easily. She lamented that the clothes were somewhat jumbled up. Together we came up with a system for minimising the jumble. A few baskets and drawer dividers did the trick. When it came to the pyjama drawer my advice was to leave it as it was. My client looked confused. “But it’s such a mess, ” she said.
I asked if her child could easily find what she wanted in the drawer.
“Can she easily put her PJs away?”
Again the answer was yes. Clearly the pyjama drawer was working, and therefore there was no need to “fix” it. The child in question was only three years old. If we’d made the system more complicated – like insisting on sets of PJs being placed together – we may have confused or discouraged her. When she’s older her mum can build on the good habits she’s developing now and introduce more complicated systems if she wants. Or not.
When thinking about being organised in your home ask yourself these simple questions before making any changes:
Is what I’m doing now working or not? If not, why not?
Will the change I’m considering make my life easier? Is it realistic, ie will I be able to maintain it in the long run?
And please, don’t ever be too afraid to invite me to your house. You’re probably more organised than you realise!