starting to organize your home starts with asking 3 questions

Starting to organize your home begins with finding purpose

What I’m about to suggest is either going to be a little upsetting or will bring on a sigh of relief. There is a different perspective regarding organizing and its importance. These are questions only you can answer based on how you function, the circumstances you find your self in, and the lifestyle you want to live. When starting to organize your home or taking on an organizing project, it’s best to make sure you’re up to the task!

Organizing is a means to an end. Until you define the purpose of why you are organizing, you most likely will be dissatisfied with the state of your house. Either it’s a mess that you can’t ever seem to get control of, or it’s never to your satisfaction in functional and aesthetically pleasing enough to keep up with the standards of others.

We are a society that needs the newest and shiniest things. There is definitely validity to this, as certain products can help us be more productive and adds functionality to a space. But there is a growing movement of the needing to remodel and improve our current living situations when it might not be necessary.

starting to organize your home starts with asking 3 questions

organizing goals

I have always envied my friends who were content (enough) with the state of their home. Maybe the paint is chipping or the countertops are outdated. There are crumbs on the floor and laundry piled up on the bed. But their home was still inviting because people mattered more than the contents.   

I open up my cupboards and wonder what type of pot and pan rack I should get to make use of the space better. We’ve lived in the home for over a year now, and even though everything has a place, it could be arranged better for easier access. But then I start to wonder if this is the best use of my time.

So, how do we decide the best course of action?  Here are three questions to ask before starting to organize any space.  This will help determine the importance of an organizing project.   

Time

How much time will the project take?  How much research will be needed, how much time will be spent decluttering and organizing?

Effort

How much stuff do you need to get rid of, and how difficult will it be to determine what needs to go?  

Well-being

How much stress is caused by the disorganized space?  Is it something that bothers you regularly?

It’s okay to determine that this organizing project is not the best use of your time, or not something you want to tackle at the moment, but if you’ve decided that it’s something you want to tackle, I know you’ll be so happy afterward!

4 important benefits to being organized

Now, before you think I’ve just talked you out of the next organizing project, there are some amazing benefits to being organized. Whenever you decide to start organizing, you’ll be happy that you did!

Cleaning

One of the significant benefits of accomplishing your organizing goals is the time saved spent cleaning.  Clean surfaces are easier to wipe down.  If belongings are stored in baskets, it’s easier to move things around for dusting and vacuuming.  Even having your cleaning supplies organizing will allow you to be more efficient when you clean.

The less stuff you have, the less you have to take care of and clean.  The National Soap and Detergent Association states that eliminating clutter could eliminate 40% of housework in the average home.

Save Time

There is nothing worse than losing something.  The most common items to lose are cell phones, keys, wallets, shoes, and remote control.  The stress caused by misplacing something and not being able to find it can be very detrimental. Time is lost, but money is also wasted if you need to rebuy something. 

One study shows we waste 2.5 days each year looking for things.  Another study shows that we waste over 5,000 hours of our lives looking for something in our homes.

Family members know where to find things

My mom is a very organized person and would always tell me, “OHIO.”  Now, I did grow up close to Ohio, but this isn’t what she meant.  It stands for Only Handle It Once.  And what good advice this is.  If you have a place for something and always put it back in its place, you not only form a habit but also can more easily remember where it is next time you need it. 

Developing a system, using organizational systems, and labels will help family members know where to look for things.  Putting things back in their proper place allows for the next person to be able to find it the next time they want to use something.

Aesthetically pleasing

Any time spent on scrolling through Pinterest shows pictures of matching baskets and cute labeled jars.  This might not be functional and practical for a lot of people, but there’s a particular element of symmetry that’s super calming and visually pleasing. 

A Sense Of Accomplishment

It might take all day to organize a kitchen or declutter a closet, but there is nothing more fulfilling when it’s over with.  To have parted with clothes that aren’t worn anymore or dispose of expired items can be very cathartic. 

starting to organize your home starts with asking 3 questions

Organizing isn’t easy, but the results are valuable.  You should feel proud of yourself when you took the time to organize a space and get rid of things you don’t use any more!!

As a hobby or to destress

You might be wondering if I’m for real. Organizing is seen as a chore by most people, but what if it didn’t need to be? If you make it fun, keep the end goal in mind, or see it as a challenge, it might not seem so daunting.  If a closet or living space is getting the better of you, you’ll feel much better after it’s organized.

I know I’m a rare bird, but when I get stressed over life circumstances I can’t control, taking my mind off of the situation and focusing on decluttering and organizing helps me not worry so much.  The challenge of the project, figuring out the functionality of a space, and where everything should go is like solving a puzzle.

Why you shouldn’t organize

In closing, I think there are certain circumstances when organizing isn’t the best use of time.  There are at least a few other things to consider before taking on an organizing project.

Keep up with the jones

It’s really easy to feel pressure to organize to maintain an image or because it can be used as a status symbol.  Society wants us to seem like we have our lives together and that everything is in order.  We often get feel self-conscious and embarrassed when someone comes over, and our house is cluttered and messy. 

Perfectionism

The downside of perfectionism means that time is actually wasted on something where the benefits do not outweigh the cost.  It can also keep us from finishing a project if we start and cannot finish due to perfectionism. 

I can tend to become obsessed with wanting something to look a certain way and making sure everything fits in the space just so. The 80-20 rule is a good one to follow if you struggle with perfectionism. 

Guilt

This is a tough one.  As I stated at the beginning, we tend to get too caught up on how we want things to be in our home.  There is a difference between wants and needs.  There are obvious benefits to organizing, but I also want to relieve you from feeling guilty if your home doesn’t meet other people’s standards or if you never seem to have the time to get to it.  If you are caring for your family, or spend more time helping others in need, valuing relationships over possessions is a good thing.  Cut yourself some slack. 

starting to organize your home starts with asking 3 questions

If this isn’t necessarily the case, asking the questions above and analyzing the pros and cons will help you determine if it’s the best use of your time. 

Create The Home You’ve Always Wanted

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Finalize your organizing goals

It all comes down to how much you can tolerate and how much time is wasted due to the lack of organization in a space.  My towel drawer in the kitchen is a mess at the moment, but I’m not wasting time grabbing a towel and it’s not bugging me too badly.  My pantry is another story. Because I’ve been trying to limit my trips to the grocery store, I do need to prioritize reorganizing all the additional nonperishable items. 

I hope that I’ve provided some food for thought when starting your next organizing project! 

Hi, I’m Shara

I have a passion for organizing. This stems from being naturally drawn to simplicity and structure in my home. Combined with my desire to help women achieve their goals, Simply Renewed Living was born.

2 Comments

  1. I love this post. Now I see I’ll need to do some organizing and decluttering just to save some time cleaning. And I’m definitely going to teach my husband the OHIO thing 😉

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