These days, it seems like everyone is talking about “organization.” There is no shortage of instructional resources on the topic and, admittedly, as a professional organizer, I love hearing new viewpoints, seeing creativity in addressing different organizing challenges and viewing photos of chaotic spaces made beautiful (so cathartic!).
If you’re reading this, I assume that you have at least some interest in getting organized and recognize that there are a lot of benefits to doing so. However, have you ever stopped to ask, “What exactly does it mean to be organized? How will I know when I’m there?” Do you have to fold your clothes a certain way or arrange all of your food in clear, labeled containers to be considered “an organized person”? Of course not!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how truly personalized organizing can be. There are definitely common principles that can help anyone organize pretty much anything (topic for later!). However, we all have different life situations, routines, and preferences that we need to think about when setting our organizing goals.
For example, I love to cook/bake and adore seeing photos of pretty walk-in pantries. But my kitchen does not have a walk-in pantry. Instead, I have a narrow but deep pantry cabinet which is well-stocked given how much I cook and the fact that we buy frequently used items in bulk to save time and money. However, it’s well-organized, stores everything I need, and I can find everything quickly which is key. So "my organized kitchen” will never look like some of my favorite pins, but I don't expect it to!
At a basic level, I consider “being organized” to mean the following:
The best solutions, however, will not be one-size-fits-all. Fight the temptation to compare your home or life to someone else’s (not always easy, I know!). There’s no magical level of organization that you must achieve to say, “I’m an organized person”, and we all have weeks when things get a little out of order. But with a home for everything and good routines, getting it back in order will not take long.
As you progress on your organization journey, consider the three points in the basic definition to identify areas that still need attention. For instance, do you technically have a home for everything but constantly struggle to put items back? If you feel the items are in spots that make sense for you, then you need to consider your routines and systems for maintaining order. Perhaps you need a different system or haven’t put in the work to create the habit yet.
Finally, also consider the following to personalize your organizing solutions:
If you’re struggling with any area of the organizing process, I hope this has been productive food for thought! Stay tuned for more articles on one of my favorite topics.
Have a blessed day!