A New Vision for Organising

When I used to say I’m was a professional organiser I’d generally draw blank looks until I used the word “declutter”. Then the lights would go on and people would register that I was a “declutter lady”. It was encouraging to get a positive reaction, but it came at a price, because it fed into the idea that decluttering and organising are the same thing. It also led to assumptions about what I thought organising was, which were based on the popular fascination with decluttering.

An overemphasis on decluttering misses the point. Equating organising with decluttering is like equating eating with dieting. Everyone has to eat and we all have a “diet”. Those diets may be more or less supportive of good health. Sometimes if our systems are out of balance (and extra weight may be a signal) we choose to become particularly conscious about what we eat. We call that “going on a diet”. However crash diets fail because they are difficult and unsustainable. A balanced diet is more likely to be effective over the long term and takes into account each persons specific needs for food that supports health, vitality, and well being.

Organising is about creating balance in the living environment that supports the activities we need to perform in order to live and thrive. We just as we all have a diet, we all organise. Sometimes that goes well for us, and sometimes we feel stuck or out of balance. A high volume of objects relative to the space available can be a symptom of imbalance, but it needs to be considered in context. The key is to identify the imbalances in your organising process and find creative ways to address those so that your living environment is supporting the life you want to lead in a sustainable way.

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