What Do You Wish You Had The Time To Do? (I Bet It Isn't Managing Your STUFF.....)

Can you picture it?? I have arrived this morning at your house for our first appointment. This is The Big Day. You called me a few weeks ago, the resolve audible in your voice... The time has come, you say, once and for all, to finally organize your house.


Oh dear. I can't wait to get there and get started, but  when you open the door to greet me, I know what I will see...


Your eyes are wide and starry, your gestures animated, and I bet if I could peer inside your head, I would see dreamy images like these:

or these....

Interesting how you envision the outcome...

I am also all too familiar with the disillusionment that sets in just after we roll up our sleeves and get to work.


You look at me, confused. I am guessing that your inner dialog goes something like this:

Why are we spending so much time going through things and getting rid of stuff? This is hard work, emotional, and I hate making all of these decisions. 

I thought you would be setting up a sophisticated system, so I could put everything in a perfect container, and would know where everything was...and it would look cool...and the house would be stylish and stuff...

I mean, like when do we get to go buy the pretty color-coordinated boxes that I will store everything in?? I thought that we would be spending more time doing that. Not THIS...I mean I can throw things out on my own...


You have fallen into the trap that all of us do from time to time. You have made the mistake of thinking that your frustrations with your home result from the lack of a proper organizational system...JUST GOTTA GET ME ONE OF THOSE.


The truth is that your frustration stems from trying to manage and organize too many things, things that don't ultimately matter anyway...and it is a battle that you can't win. Well, unless you want to spend most of your spare time maintaining, straightening, and organizing, OR you have a butler and a staff of twenty to help you run the place...

Neither of those scenarios seem likely to me, so let's talk about how to lessen your frustration and increase your time for fun:

  • Focus on what matters to you. I have yet to meet a person who wishes that they just had more time to spend with their kitchen pantry or their basement shelves. I know there are things you are longing to do with your most precious resource, your time. We are about to find you more time--read on.
  • More Stuff=Less Time: You have too much stuff--we all do in varying degress. It is all that stuff that is clogging up the works of your life. Get rid of the clutter, have less to fuss with, find more time.
  • "I just need a better system"--BUT WAIT, you say, that STUFF is important! I just want to store it in a better way! When you look at the stuff as a whole, it may feel important, but when you look at it carefully, individually, there is a whole mess of things that you don't love, don't  use, and don't need. Simply taking all of that excess STUFF and putting in attractive containers is like putting a fresh coat of paint on a house with a failing foundation. It is unsound and off-balance, it won't feel satisfying, and your results WON'T LAST.
  • "ONCE AND FOR ALL!"~ You said it, but you can't mean it: Life and its sticky little problems are never "once and done," and creating a satisfying and comfortable home is not the exception to this rule. This process is about  putting systems in place that will need MAINTENANCE. The more complex and impressive your system for filing paperwork, the more onerous it will be to keep up. The more remnants of fabric you hold on to, the more effort it will take to keep them clean and accessible so they actually get used someday. SO, whatever you are going to store (I hope it isn't much), make sure it is done simply and that it is worth the time and energy it will cost you to do so.

I want you to note that I didn't use pictures of my own closets, my very own basement storage area, or my kitchen junk drawer (yes, I have one)  in this post. While they are in functional, workable form with little clutter, they aren't much to look at, and that is just how I like them. I don't feel the need to have  my closets and other storage areas camera ready, and I hope you don't either. Sure, all of those perfectly folded clothes and stacked toiletries are pretty, but I would rather spend my time doing things I enjoy with those I love ...wouldn't you?