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Home Organization.. what if you didn’t need it?

Home Organization and Minimalist LivingImage:John Kasawa FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What if you didn’t need home organization?

Last weekend, as I lay around relaxing, I was able to finish a book I have been working on for a while.  The first 2/3rds of the was really good and I learned a lot.

Then the last part was an add-on part about home organization.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against home organization.  A home without it is really stressful.

It was just that, as I was skimming the pages, none of it applied to me.

I don’t have an elaborate plan for what day I clean the bathrooms/kitchens/bedrooms during the week.  I don’t have forgotten areas in the house that collect junk and need to be labeled.  I don’t have problems with enough space for shoes, kitchen appliances, toys, or tools… and I don’t have any cute ‘Pinterest inspired’ plastic sorting schemes.

… and I still have no trouble keeping things clean or finding what I want.

Just skimming through these last few pages of the book made me tired.  I am so glad I don’t need to worry about fancy home organization any more.

No Home Organization?  How?

Years ago I had lots of organizational plans.  I read books by ‘The Queen of Clean‘ and I had lists for what rooms would be cleaned what days.

I had labeled boxes in all the closets so I could always find what I needed… and most of the time it worked.

However, as much as I tried to use all the ‘home organizational tips’ I really couldn’t stick with any of the plans long enough to have the beautiful/clean/welcoming/good smelling house I thought I should have.

I figured I just didn’t have enough discipline and schedule to succeed… and I was probably right.

But now I have a clean-ish house (nobody’s perfect) with no home organization plan or trick or method.

What Changed?

Three years ago I had the normal house.  We were a family of 4, living in 2000 square feet, with easy access to great garage sales.  I had everything I thought the family needed and could use as well as several things for the kids purchased in advance to save money.

We weren’t extremely disorganized, and we didn’t have a house full of things we no longer needed.  There was just still a lot of stuff!

Two and a half years ago we started making changes to what we needed and thought we could use.  What if we needed less?  

I felt like I was spending time with home organization and cleaning that I wanted to spend with my kids. … and the home organization and cleaning were only semi successful.   What if my kids needed me more than they needed all these things that I filled the house with?

Over the next few years we slowly cut down our belongings and adopted a minimalist lifestyle.  It was nothing exciting or earth shaking we just kept slowly moving away from home organization plans and more toward not having the things to organize in the first place.  I slowly realized that we could live without the boxes and tubs with pretty labels up in the closet… because I spent more time organizing them than we spent using them.

Life has changed a lot for us in the last few years.  We kept cutting down our belongings and seeing the freedom we gained from it.  Now, I feel we are at a completely opposite place in life.  We have gotten rid of the many things we owned and all the stress that came from them, and traded them for a life with very few things and the freedom that comes from it.

So, I am not trying to say anything bad about home organization, many people try very hard at it.  I am sure there are many people out there who are doing it much more successfully than I ever could.

What I am saying is that…

  • if you have been struggling with organization and feel overwhelmed with the whole thing
  • if you are finding yourself short on time for the people and things you do value
  • if you feel like you never get any time to relax and take time for yourself

…you don’t have to go the ‘home organization’ path.

Simple Living (also known as Minimalist Living) is living with what you need and what you love… and not all the stuff in between.  It isn’t near as crazy as it sounds, it is just going against our habits of always wanting more-better-bigger.  It is a mental change, but the rewards are amazing.

… so if you’re sick of home organization and wanting to walk away from it, you can 🙂

Note: I am not saying ‘no organization’ … because you still have to keep each person’s clothes separate and keep things where they belong.  I am just saying that when you have very few things it is never hard and you don’t need a fancy plan to stay on top of it all.

 Thanks for stopping by my site and reading. If you know someone else who would benefit from the community here please pass it along to them or share on social media.  Have a wonderful day!

20 Comments

  1. Despite all my decluttering and paring down, I still struggle with having too much and therefore, needing to organize. It is getting better…I continue to be able to let go of things…but I’m only one of the four in my family (and the only one who is inclined this way). I know my example influences everyone under this roof and that’s what keeps me going. But I still have a long way to go, too!

    • moya moya

      For Jill.I had this problem with my teenagers who wouldnt de clutter so this is what worked .On a summer day we take all the contents of their bedroom out to the back garden(not their beds or heavy furniture)and invite them to take back in what they really want to be part of their lives.They sometimes are even more ruthless than I would be and it works every time. We usually have a barbeque afterwards.Hope this works for you .

  2. What excellent points to consider! I read of your blog in your college alma mater magazine, and appreciate all you do to encourage others! Thank you so much for sharing your life and journey so we can learn from your experience. I think it is amazing how our loving Heavenly Father led you and your family so perfectly, so that He could call you on another path of service for Him. It inspires me too! I had begin the path of “paring down”, but after today’s entry, I am much more motivated to continue. I was just about to read another home organizing book for some help, but now see that what I really want is much less to clean and organize!! God bless you!!

  3. So relate to this! I am not the organized type and as I have cut back on stuff my cleaning “system” is cleaning whatever seems dirty or whatever I’m in the mood to clean 🙂 I still have a few organizing systems (like for storing kids clothes for the boys to grow into), but I don’t need to read books about organizing because whatever I do is pretty obvious. With less busyness, I’ve found that I’ve had time to figure out my own most efficient storage and organization methods (like yesterday lowering a shelf in the fridge door by one notch so that the condiment bottles actually fit!)

  4. Laura Laura

    I thought this was a very good point. I have told my sister that she is better at organizing and I am better at getting rid of things. That’s probably why books/blogs on simplifying are so much more interesting to me than those on organizing. I am okay with organizing on a small scale for important things, but I get struggle with organizing mindless things. Our society is so caught up on the organizing bug, that it’s rarely questioned if you even need what your are spending a lot of money on to organize.

    Physical clutter really stresses me out, but my husband keeps everything (childhood comic books, new washing machine parts left from the previous owners that don’t fit ours, samples of carpet, golf clubs left from previous owners etc). Even the idea of simplicity would be like a foreign language to him. I am a stay at home mom, so it’s even harder since that is a main part of my daily environment.

    I always enjoy reading your blog.

    Thanks!

  5. Yes! Just, yes! I get overwhelmed when I see all of these massive organization methods that usually involved buying lots of things with drawers or shelves. I’ve alway said my method of organization what “tossing”. 🙂 Of course, I’m not crafty in the least, and I’m sure people who regularly sew or paint have to design some sort of system for those things. Still, my theory is that if I don’t remember I have something and I can’t quickly find it, I probably don’t need it!

  6. Such a great point. Recently someone on a forum I’m on asked for something to help organize his time/schedule. I suggested Google Calendar. He said I must be pretty organized if that’s all it takes for me. I got a chuckle out of that – I’d completely forgotten that a few years ago I had crazy to-do lists everywhere.

  7. Juliette Juliette

    You made it so simple. Thank you!

  8. After simplifying our home, I found a lot of important papers hanging around. I hadn’t even noticed the massive clutter before because stuff around it kept my eyes and attention preoccupied. While I have to store certain paperwork, the same system works way better now that there is less crammed in the drawer. Great point!

  9. Terry Spadoni Terry Spadoni

    “nobody’s (not nobodies) perfect”
    “if you’re (not your) sick of organization”

    If you are going to write professionally, have the professionalism to get the grammar and usage right.

      • I really admire the grace with which you handled this comment…

      • Lorilee, you are one of the most gracious people I’ve ever met or known. You truly reveal the unconditional love of Christ. Keep shining! 🙂

      • Bernadette Bernadette

        Hi Lorilee,
        I also want to add that you are, without a doubt, one of the most gracious people I have had the pleasure of “knowing”. You practice what you preach!

      • Terry Spadoni Terry Spadoni

        Lorilee,

        Your friends are right. Your answer to my uneccesarily harsh comment was more gracious than I deserved. I apologize and can offer in my defense only that I had had a pretty bad day, which of course was not your fault. I have learned my lesson and will never fire off such a comment to anyone again. Thank you for your gentle spirit.

        Terry

        • no problem Terry 🙂 I am not good at grammar and am learning as I go.

          • Lindsay Lindsay

            I LOVED reading through this long set of comments, especially how you handled it, how it was resolved, and all the encouragement you got along the way! What a joy to be a reader here. 🙂

    • Leslie Leslie

      You’ve been invited to someone’s home for an interesting discussion and you’re criticizing the furnishings? Sometimes spell check changes things and we don’t notice. Please be kind.

  10. Yes, once I had decluttered my belongings I found it much easier for things to have a place to go, and to find their way there, without a lot of effort on my part. Its so nice to have space to put things and be able to find things without hunting. I think this post really captures what simplifying can achieve. How it leads to less need to be organised, because there is less to manage.

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