Green tea in coffee cannister demonstrates the provisional nature of labels.

The Provisonal Nature of Labels

Labels feature widely in organising. At the most tangible level there are the literal physical labels that go on jars, folders, and boxes. Rice. Beads. Taxes. Memorabilia. Then there are the descriptive labels that are applied to people. Neat freak. Messy. Disorganised. ADHD. Hoarder. When organising physical objects the act of labeling is a logical extension of […]

Handbuilt stone wall in Devon

The Mending Wall Metaphor

In Mending Wall, poet Robert Frost reflects on the mysterious way gaps in the walls on the boundary of his property appear over the winter. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it And spills the upper boulders in the sun, And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. He describes […]

Version 4

Intuitive Action in Organising

Although organising is usually associated with logical step by step processes there is another aspect to getting things done that is less frequently discussed. For people guided by a strong inner compass, the how, when, where and why of organising come from a more intuitive place. An idea arises, a feeling of unease with how things […]

Blossoming Tree on Mirror Lake at Lake Placid

Presence-based Organising

Where are you when you organise things. Are you in the room, or are you in your head? Are you starting with what you see before you, or an idea or belief about how things should be? If you are asking “Where should I start?” and “What should I keep?” it may be that these […]

Garden Shed With Broken Windows Image

The Is-ness of Things

I’ve heard a few stories of storerooms, garages and sheds filled with clutter that refuses to be sorted. Or at least that’s how it sounds. It’s as if the room itself had shut its doors to resist intrusion. What is really behind that door? Is it a space full of recriminations, guilt and self-blame. A room of […]

Niagara River Downstream

The Balance of Structure and Flow

When we think about organising in terms of natural systems, there are two factors that contribute to how things unfold. One is structure, and the other is flow. Structure is about the level of containment, and flow is about the level of movement. Managing our living environment effectively requires a healthy balance of each of these factors. Structure Structure is […]

Organise Like an Organism

Organise like an Organism

Have you noticed that “organise” shares its root with words like organism and organic? The Greek word “organon” refers to a tool, or instrument, particularly a musical instrument. So we have the organism, the pipe organ in a cathedral, organs in the body, and organic farming all drawing meaning from this same root word. If we […]