Why Organizing Isn’t About De-Cluttering

Organizing isn’t about de-cluttering.

Before today’s article, I just wanted to thank you for sticking with us during the 31 Days of Clutter-Free Living series. You can click over to see all of the articles. Today also happens to be article #501 on this li’l ol’ blog of mine. (Commence the Happy Dance!) It would have been 500, but one sneaked by me again yesterday when it wasn’t quite finished, so I’ve prettied it up for you: How to Be The Most Productive Person In Your Office. I hope you enjoy this last article in January, and stick with me for the rest of the year. If you haven’t already, just enter your email in “subscribe to blog” on the right over there>>>, and you’re in!

Why Organizing Isn’t About De-Cluttering

Before you think I’ve gone off the professional organizer’s wagon, let me explain. This time of year especially, there is a lot of noise about de-cluttering. I do it myself, and highly recommend it. But if you are truly interested in getting organized, there is something even more critical, and that is to stop the “cluttering” in the first place.

how to stop decluttering by ending cluttering

I would never call myself a minimalist. That just feels too extreme for me, honestly.

When I was in my 20’s, I was married to a man who wanted things. Toys. Cars. Stuff. But we didn’t have the money to keep all of those things nice, and in good working order. I purchased a house at the age of 19, but never felt like I had money to make it the nicest house on the block. We had 2 cars and even a motorcycle, but often struggled with keeping them running. We traveled, but never, ever first class.

That’s when I decided that I’d rather have fewer things, but things of higher quality.

There are all sorts of blog challenges to declutter. Part with 40 bags in 40 days. Toss just one thing a day. Pare your closet down to 6 loved but hard-working items. (No, thank you.) One colleague I’m following is urging her followers to get rid of 2,000 things this year.

Um, that sounds great, but how about not bringing those 2,000 things into my life in the first place? Then I have more money, more space, and less trash.

Because even if we’re recycling, donating, and freecycling our cast-offs, we’re the ones who have to carry in, dust, fix, shuffle, organize and carry those things out in the trash. That all takes money, space, time and brain cells.

This is only the first few days of your new Clutter-Free life.

What will you do differently to live more in balance the rest of the year, without bringing new clutter home?

Because organizing isn’t about de-cluttering. It’s about learning not “to clutter” in the first place.

31 Days of Clutter-Free Living Organizing