During last weekend’s Organize-athon, a participant commented that she was surprised to see that Jay and I had some organizing projects to do (both in preparation for the event, and while the event was going.) Her thinking was that we were already organized, so we wouldn’t have any projects to work on.

Laundry area before + after maintenance organizing

These photos are a project I worked on during our Organize-athon. I was doing maintenance on an area of my laundry room.

She isn’t alone in this thinking. I always get a little bit nervous sharing my organizing projects publicly because I know there are people who expect that since I’m a Professional Organizer my home is completely organized 100% of the time. That just isn’t the case, for me or anyone else for that matter. Living is messy, and to me the reason for getting organized is so that you can live your life—do the things you love to do easily and comfortably. How often you return your home to that “just organized” state is completely up to you. I call it finding your organizational comfort zone. To find yours, here are some things to consider:

  1. How much clutter is too much clutter for you? If you are bothered by visual clutter, then you will want to declutter more often.
  2. How much time do you have to tidy up and organize? If your weekday schedule is jampacked, you may need to do more tidying up on the weekends…which means your house may look less than “perfect” during the week. (That’s okay!)
  3. What’s your organizing style? Would you rather organize proactively or reactively? Some people prefer to stay a few steps ahead of the clutter and organize before things start to look like they need it, while others are motivated to organize when they see a bit of clutter and untidiness. It might surprise you to find out that I fall in the second camp. I want to see a change when I organize a space and the more dramatic the better. So guess what that means? My home doesn’t always look perfect. (And I’m okay with that.)

The important thing is to figure out what you’re okay with by answering the questions above. Then, create schedules and routines that help you spend more of your time in your comfort zone, and less time out of it.

Happy organizing!


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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