Organize to Live..Don’t Live to Organize!

“I can’t have anyone in my house. It’s a mess! I’d be so embarrassed…”

Does this sound like something you have thought or said recently as you gaze at stacks of papers, gym shorts in your office, empty cans and dirty dishes everywhere and laundry filling spaces you didn’t even know you had? And how often have you thought to yourself I have to get organized?
Don’t fret – you have lots of company. Most of us have an inflated image about “being organized.” In fact, “organized” is a word that intimidates some and outright scares others. It is a goal that few know how to get to – much less maintain.

The real truth about “organizing” is that it is something everyone needs to identify and define according to how they live. Most of us are out there working, taking care of children and doing a zillion things. We LIVE OUR LIVES and, as a result, our environments are often not “organized” as defined by public thinking.
So what do we do? First, give up the image of the “perfect” home or office. Once you allow yourself to omit the word “perfect” from your vocabulary you can redefine what level of being organized works for you and what you need to do to maintain it. Some need to have color coded files for every category of papers or every every toy picked up 24 hours a day. If that is you – that is fine. But if that is NOT you… don’t sweat it! Realize that keeping the surroundings you live in basically clean enough to be healthy and uncluttered enough to be able to find your keys is how most people live.

If you feel the need to go further – “organizers” are there to help. But if you feel the need for help don’t waste energy being embarrassed that your home is not ready for a Martha Stewart inspection. People who help with organization are not judging you. They understand that life comes first. Helping to get your home to a place where you are happy and comfortable is all that organizers want for you.
So, when you are getting yourself in a snit over having the perfect home needing to organize this and clear out that, remember, there is help out there to do this with and for you. Having someone work with you to organize can bring fresh perspective. Your organizing consultant should be helpful and full of good ideas that are centered around the way YOU live.

So here is the bottom line:
1. Organize to the point where you feel good about spending time in your home or office.
2. Know that life will cause distractions and you may need help again or even on a continuing basis. If so, go for it.
3. Boldly cross out the word “embarrassed” in your dictionary!