Today, more than ever before, there’s a nearly endless supply of ideas about how to get organized. Next time you’re at the grocery store, take a look at the cover of just about any women’s magazine. You’ll see what I mean. Headlines say “5-minute organizing tricks” or “5 quick clutter cures” or “How to organize every room in your house!” And if that’s not enough, then hop onto Pinterest for a few minutes. You’ll find thousands of pictures of beautifully—if not perfectly—organized spaces.

How to Organize Your Home | When Eye Candy Isn't Enough

Now don’t get me wrong: I love organizing ideas. I love being inspired by photos of beautiful spaces. But here’s something I know to be true: sometimes those images can cause us to feel intensely pressured, which is so counterproductive when getting and staying organized.

If you feel like your home should be perfectly organized all the time, then I’m willing to bet that the pressure you experience is, at times, intense. We often look at the images on Pinterest, our favorite blogs, magazine covers, and see perfectly organized spaces. While what we see can give us wonderful ideas and inspire us to get organized, it can also have the opposite effect. We can begin to feel as if our organizational efforts never measure up, which in turn zaps our motivation and confidence.

organizing goals board

Compare these images or messages to something you see in a fashion magazine. We know most people simply don’t look like models, and even the models don’t look like their photos in real life. The magic of lighting, make-up, careful posing and of course photo re-touching, creates an image of perfection.

It’s much the same with organizational eye-candy…what we’re seeing is a carefully staged area at a single moment in time. It doesn’t reflect life happening because real life is messy! When real life is happening, stuff is out and being used. And this is the reason for getting organized in the first place—so you can live your life and do what needs to be done with ease.

When you feel deflated by images of organizing perfection, imagine that five minutes before the shutter snapped there were shoes tossed on the floor and magazines on the counter. And as soon as the cameras were put away…real life started happening again, and bits of clutter crept back onto the scene. That’s real life my friends. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

There are no perfect organizing solutions. There is no home or space that can be perfectly organized 100% of the time. When you recognize and embrace this, something incredible starts to happen. The pressure to live up to an unrealistic standard begins to release. And then, getting organized and staying organized gets easier and feels much better, too. By the way, this is just one concept I explain fully—and show you how to put into action—in The Secrets of Staying Organized.

The next time you’re feeling stressed and pressured that your home doesn’t look like your favorite pinned images, I hope you’ll take a deep breath, release that pressure and remind yourself that the real point of getting organized isn’t to stand back and admire a perfectly organized space. It’s to make life easier and better by creating more time and space for the people you love and the things you love to do. Ahhh…that feels better.


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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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