Organization and clutter

2018-06-03 BoxI’ve always had a bit of a thing for organizing. It brings out my (never very well-hidden) inner control freak.

I used to take a lot of pleasure at looking at my carefully arranged clutter, my well-housed junk and my orderly rubbish. At no point did I ever pause to think if I should even be keeping this stuff, let alone putting so much time and effort into arranging it beautifully.

I used to browse for organization boxes and containers the way some women browse for shoes.

And all the time, I was fixing the wrong problem. It wasn’t that I didn’t have enough storage, it was that I had too much clutter.

Clutter is cunning.   It can con you into thinking that it’s vital stuff that only needs a home to magically become useful.

Clutter is guilt-inducing. It can trick you into thinking that you have been lax in not tidying or organising to get the optimum use out of your stuff.

And most of all, clutter is devious. It can pretend to be useful when it’s tidied out of sight, in labelled boxes, ready to be used. When? Oh, let me think – never!

I had an epiphany some time ago when I finally got rid of some pretty boxes and storage bags. I was finding that the more storage I had, the more I wanted to fill it. So instead of focusing on the stuff, I reduced the amount of storage containers. This epiphany happened about three weeks after I bought three new cute containers (they were boxes that fitted inside each other like little Babushka dolls!) and then realised I was scratching around for things to fill them with – really not the point.

The Minimalists write that ‘organizing is well planned hoarding’ and I think there is a lot of truth in that. I’m all for organizing but I want to make sure what I’m organizing is of actual value and not just something I want out of sight.

Anyone else ever hear the siren call of the organization boxes?! Have a great week 😊

  8 comments for “Organization and clutter

  1. June 5, 2018 at 12:08 am

    I used to be very OCD with all my clutter before minimalism – buying plastic organizers to categorize everything from clothes to makeup to office supplies…until I realized I was not using most of the stuff. Like the phrase goes “If you have to buy stuff to organize your stuff, you might have too much stuff…” Loved hearing about your experience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Hi April, thanks so much for your comment. It’s great to know I wasn’t the only one like that!! I think the thrill of organising can sometimes take over from what we’re trying to organise! Lxx

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  2. June 4, 2018 at 8:40 am

    ‘Orderly rubbish’ – that brought a knowing smile to my face…haven’t we all been in that mindset?! Reducing your amount of storage containers and cutting the ‘organisation’ habit is such a good way to approach clutter, Lorraine. I used to have sooo many storage containers, big and small. I got rid of a lot of them although I did keep some to use as moving boxes in the future – but now strictly keep them stacked on top of one another, empty! You speak wise words when you say that it’s not a lack of storage that’s the problem, it’s the overabundance of clutter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 4, 2018 at 8:45 am

      Thanks as always Lisa, for your great comments and support! The containers are so alluring, aren’t they?! To this day, I have to fight the urge to buy them but that’s a slippery slope to clutter! Nice to know I had a fellow passenger along the way!! Lxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. June 4, 2018 at 7:31 am

    I’m reassessing my labelled boxes in the loft from a recent house move. The thought of moving them all again to another house is one I don’t relish. It’s books today. I’ll see how I get on x

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 4, 2018 at 8:24 am

      Sounds like quite the task! Also sounds like the makings of a blog post!! Best of luck 🙂 Lxxx

      Like

  4. June 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Yep…organized clutter is still clutter. Learned this from the gal we use @Ashleyorganizes. Personally we take a bag to Goodwill about once a week. Follows the one in one out rule nicely. However, last week I dropped the bag on the way to the mall with Mr. LBD (he loves to shop) and left without anything but the memory of a nice weekday sneak away lunch with my guy. Memories don’t take up any room! Nice post. _ laurel

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      Oh, love this outlook, Laurel! The clutter is insidious but what can be better than an unexpected lunch, as a mid week treat?! Lxx

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