Are you sitting down? Today in my second post of this three post mini series on staying organized, I’m going to share a little secret. And I want to make sure you’re ready for it.

I’m not talking about one of my Secrets of Staying Organized. (I’ll be getting to that soon enough.) Instead my secret has to do with my house. That’s right. I’m sharing dirt on my house. Ready? Okay, here we go:  My house may not be as organized as you think it should be. And you know what? I’m okay with that. (But I have to admit, it’s taken me a while to get there.)

When I first started out as a professional organizer, I felt immense pressure to be really, really organized. If you’re thinking, Aby, you should be really organized, I would have to admit that you have a point. Just as you would expect the person teaching your fitness class to be in really great shape, you expect a professional organizer to be really organized. And, I assure you, I am organized!

But, I can also assure you that every square inch of my home doesn’t look like it could grace the pages of a magazine every single minute of every single day! Could I create that look? Absolutely! Could I maintain that look and that level of organization? Sure. But at what cost?

See, living up to that “magazine ready” standard of organization would take a lot of time. And I have other things I like to spend my time on. I enjoy running and laughing and having fun with my family.

Speaking of my family, if I wanted to live in a magazine-ready state 24/7/365, what toll would that take on them? A big one!

Living up to those standards would create a tremendous level of stress. And honestly, one of my drivers for getting organized and staying organized is to reduce stress! Not to create more of it.

Now, I recognize that being organized enough has significant value. It’s important to me that I feel comfortable in my home, and I also know that too much clutter is distracting to me. (It can even make me grumpy.)

When I’m organized I’m happier, I’m more open to laughing and having fun, and I have more time to do all of those other things I enjoy doing. So being organized is important to me. But being organized is a means to another end, instead of being an end in and of itself.

Things don’t have to be perfect – or magazine ready – for me to enjoy the benefits of an organized home.

Now here’s something I want to stress: my idea of “organized enough” and your idea of “organized enough” may look and feel completely different. Because of this, I’d like to invite you to find and embrace your unique organizational comfort zone, which leads me to my next secret of staying organized:

Find Your Organizational Comfort Zone to Stay Organized |


Find—and embrace—your organizational comfort zone.

Alright, so what is your organizational comfort zone? Well first, let’s talk about the comfort piece of it. When you’re in your comfort zone, as you can imagine, you feel comfortable. Things are organized in a way that is just right for you. But again, what feels comfortable to you, may not feel so great to your neighbor, or friend or anyone else. Your goal isn’t to figure out what’s right for anyone else other than you. Okay?

So when you think about your comfort zone, think about creating and maintaining a space that feels right to you. It’s where you are organized enough to enjoy your life and do the things you love to do, like all of those things you identified in my last post.

Now the next thing that I want to stress is that your comfort zone is a zone, it isn’t a single sweet spot. This is really, really important because everyone’s home goes in and out of order. So the goal when staying organized isn’t to keep your home in its most organized state every second of every day. Instead, your goal is to create systems and habits that keep you within your comfort zone.

Another way to think about your comfort zone is that it is the range between “perfect” and real life. It is how much disorder you’re comfortable letting build up before you take action. Most of all, knowing your comfort zone allows you to live and enjoy your life, even when your home isn’t perfectly organized!

Isn’t this completely liberating? I think it is.

stop signAlright, it’s time to take action! For today’s post your assignment is to consider the idea of an organizational comfort zone. Have you held the belief that your home is supposed to be perfect 100% of the time? If so, are you now open to the idea of relaxing those standards a bit? Share your thoughts in the comments. Remember, there are no wrong answers here. Just your own unique perspective on what feels right for you! I can’t wait to hear all about it.


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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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