How Organized is Organized Enough? Two Questions To Ask Yourself
I’ve got a confession to make.
No, it’s not that I think Kid Rock is hot. Or that I love El Caminos. Or even that I once snorted Pixie Stick. Intentionally. (I’ll tell you THAT story some other time. It was in the name of science.)
I mean, yeah, all of those things are true but this?
This is BIG.
This could change the way you think about me. Forever.
My name is Brenna, and I’m a professional organizer, and my closet isn’t color coordinated.
My name is Brenna, and I’m a professional organizer, and my spices aren’t alphabetized.
My name is Brenna, and I’m a professional organizer and, more often than not, my underwear drawer is messy.
You have no idea how good it feels to get that off my chest.
I feel like a new woman!!
Now, you wanna know something else?
My name is Brenna, and I’m a professional organizer, and my home is perfectly organized for my family and me.
Just because my home doesn’t look like a photoshopped version of a magazine cover doesn’t mean I’m not organized.
It doesn’t mean I’m a failure as a professional organizer.
It doesn’t mean I’m a fraud. Or bad at my job. Or a bad person.
You wanna know what it means?
It means that I’ve figured out exactly how organized my house needs to be in order to be organized enough for me to feel good about my space.
I figured out how organized is organized enough.
I know, the words can kinda get in the way but essentially what I’m saying is that I’ve figured out the perfect level of organization that I need in order to feel good about my home.
Think about it in terms of Goldilocks.
One day Goldilocks comes across three closets.
The first closet was not nearly organized enough for her. The hangers were all mismatched and pants and dresses and shirts were all mixed in together. A few things were barely on the hangers at all and a bunch of other stuff was just strewn on the floor. Purses and belts and random toiletries made access a landmine of tripping hazards. And that smell? WHAT WAS THAT SMELL?
It made her crazy to even think about putting together an outfit in there!
Closet number two was way TOO organized. The clothes were categorized by type, color, fabric, AND function. The hangers were hanging precisely a half inch apart. Shoes, perfectly aligned also according to type, color, material, AND function. And the laundry basket? Even the dirty clothes looked freshly pressed! Fresh vacuum tracks even imprinted the carpet!
It made her crazy to even think about having to maintain that level of organization in that closet!
The third closet though? It was JUST right. Clothes were hanging neatly on matching hangers. Shirts hung with shirts while pants hung with pants. For the most part, tops were sorted by sleeve length. Tank tops and camis, then short sleeves followed by long sleeves. Labeled bins held workout tops and bottoms, not folded to creased perfection but still corralled within the confines of each bin. Dress socks and sports socks lived peacefully in harmony within a third labeled bin while bras and sports bras, slightly rumpled, coexisted in another. Dress shoes were separate from sports shoes though it was easy to tell what had been worn most recently. Dirty clothes rested easily in the embrace of a super cute hamper.
Ah. This? This she’d happily live with.
Ole’ G found her organizing sweet spot!
So how do YOU find YOURS?
How do you figure out if you need Goldilocks’ closet option one, two, or three?
It’s pretty simple actually.
You just need to ask yourself two questions.
1. What type of environment do I feel good in?
Do you like to have a lot of “things” around you or do you prefer a more streamlined, “clean” environment?
In order to feel good in a space, do you prefer the feeling of a freshly stocked Target or is a funky thrift store more your speed?
If you don’t mind “stuff”, then you probably won’t mind if there’s more of it in your space. Kids’ toys in the living room won’t bother you. Several small appliances on your kitchen counters will feel perfectly fine. A coat thrown across a chair seems homey instead of cluttered to you. An artwork covered fridge will be a must.
If you’re a more streamlined kinda girl, you’re probably going to have more clear surfaces than décor. You’re going to need everyone to put their backpacks in their rooms when they arrive home from school. A pair of shoes randomly laying in the living room is not going to bode well. Your magazines will, more than likely, be stacked neatly on the coffee table instead of laying dogeared on the floor.
2. How much work am I willing to do to keep my space organized?
Do you have the time, space, energy, and WILLINGNESS to spend that extra time to make sure your space is Pinterest photo ready at all times? Or do you want to get the biggest bang for the least amount of effort possible?
I once had a client who wanted her pantry to look like the cover of a magazine. She literally had the magazine sitting on the counter waiting for me when I got there. And lemme tell you, IT. WAS. GORGEOUS. Think glass jars and canisters with chalkboard labels.
I remember looking at her and very clearly saying, “You realize that in order to maintain a space like that, you’re going to have to commit a decent amount of time and energy to it, right? You can’t just put groceries away after going shopping. You’re going to be opening cereal boxes and refilling canisters. Instead of just putting a bag of rice in the cabinet, you’re going to be pouring it into a jar.”
She was totally up for it. The effort was worth it for her if it meant her pantry was that pretty.
If you’re up for regular, can’t miss maintenance, then your home will probably be more outwardly organized than someone who’d rather relax on the couch a little longer instead of putting laundry away by color.
As you’re thinking about, and hopefully writing down, the answers to those questions up there, please remember that there are no wrong answers here. The most important thing to remember when answering them is to be honest. Don’t answer with what you ‘wish’ you wanted or how you want others to perceive you. Be 100% truthful.
If you like stacks of books and knick-knacks on your surfaces, be loud and proud about it. If you want to do the absolute least amount of work possible and nothing matters but that, shout it from the rooftops.
Me? Obviously, I’m a Goldilocks kinda girl. Somewhere in the middle of the two extremes is ‘’just right."
I’d love to hear where you fall!