Want me to let you in on a little secret?
When I take a fresh load of laundry out of the dryer, I lug the laundry basket upstairs, fold the tops and bottoms and put them in their appropriate drawers, hang the items that require hangers, and then...
I match up the socks by just rolling the pair into a ball and tossing them into my sock drawer.
"She shoots, she scores!"
Well, OK, most of the time I miss. But it's the effort that counts, right?
You might think that a Professional Organizer would have color-coded, Pinterest perfect EVERYTHING in her home, but I'll be the first to tell you that not only is that not the case, it's also not necessary for you either.
In my 15+ years of being a Professional Organizer, I've learned that people love the beautiful before and after photos where piles of books miraculously become a rainbow on a bookshelf.
Perhaps you see your friend post on Instagram her stunning pantry, labels on every bin, and the row of matching wicker baskets for her kid's Legos and matchbox cars and you wonder, "What's wrong with me!? Why am I SO disorganized!?"
People often want perfection when it comes to their homes, but perfection is not usually what they need.
As Melissa Sullivan says in her book, Organized Enough, "The quest for perfection is the root of the problem, not its solution."
I always tell my clients that it's OK to not be perfect.
It's OK to give yourself permission to let things go. As an organizer, my main focus is on helping your space to be more functional.
Instagram-Worthy Aesthetics do not Equal Organization
A well-organized home gives you the ability to find what you need when you need it so you can pay your bills on time, keep your house stocked with food, and get your kids on the bus at pickup time.
Life is hard and busy, and it's already challenging enough to keep up with everything you have going on. Keeping your house organized should not add more stress, it should alleviate it by having systems in place to help you streamline and achieve what you need to throughout the day.
And sometimes, keeping things sorted like the before and after pictures show as the golden standard is just adding more tasks to the list and require taking extra time to do something that doesn't even matter to you.
Arranging your spices from lightest to darkest or in alphabetical order might look really nice, but it doesn't bring that much additional ease to dinner prep.
So stop comparing your shoe rack to the one you saw on Pinterest last night, and let's focus on what matters most for YOU.
Spending Your Time Where it Matters Most
When my kids were little, they had a set of blocks that contained 150 blocks. At the end of every day, when I was helping them clean up their playroom, I sat on the floor and counted out every single one. 1, 2, 3, 4... you get the idea, all the way up to 150!
I was obsessed with going behind them and making sure everything was just-so in an effort to be as organized as I was before I had kids.
But in doing this, I was actually detracting from the time I spent with my kids. I was sucking myself out of the enjoyment of being their mom!
Where do you draw the line?
When I work with clients, a lot of the solutions we come up with are not exactly Pinterest-worthy but they're doable, easy to maintain, and greatly improve the quality of a person's life.
They can pull out what they need, when they need it, and be off to the races.
To Each Their Own
There are a lot of people that are naturally incredibly organized and it makes them feel good to go to the next level. Their puzzles are stacked in alphabetical order, all of the boxes in their game closet are meticulous, every one of the holes in their toilet paper rolls line up, and they thrive with it being like that!
Take my husband for example. In contrast to mine, his sock drawer would make Marie Kondo proud. He's been folding his socks hikidashi-style since before she was even born.
If it makes you feel good, do it. Just don't waste your precious time focusing on what doesn't matter.
Organization in the Real World
This is my favorite kind of before and after photo:
I love helping people to find organizational solutions that work for them and their lifestyle and are good enough.
Together, we identify what they need in place to go out and do their best work in the world, and go from there.
This involves realizing their goals, prioritizing function over all else, and most importantly, being realistic when it comes to what’s involved in maintaining the organization on a regular basis.
Great organization is achieved when it both fits into your lifestyle and helps you to live your best life!
Curious to see what it's like to work with a Professional Organizer? I'd love to support you to be more Productive, Peaceful, and Prosperous.
Click below to book a free call today.