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Clothes don’t hang themselves up — and other hard-to-swallow truths about organizing

by respaced on October 9, 2012

How many times have you read an article on getting organized in your favorite grocery store check-out line magazine only to find it’s a list of “must-have” organizing products? How often have you told yourself that you can’t get organized because you can’t afford to buy any organizing products?

Often, magazines and TV shows will try to convince you that getting organized is all about finding the perfect organizing product that fits your space.

They’re wrong.

The secret to getting organized is almost 100 percent behavioral. It’s about making different decisions to get different outcomes. What do I mean?

Let’s say you have a disorganized, messy closet. The Organizing Product solution is to rush out to your nearest big box organizing supplies store and buy a bunch of plastic bins, matching hangers and specialty closet devices. Some of that can indeed be useful. But those clothes aren’t going to hang themselves up. Those shoes aren’t going to put themselves back on the revolving shoe rack. It’s completely and totally up to you to MAKE the decision to TAKE the time to put everything away every day.

Your decisions lead to actions that create change. If you want that change to equal a More Organized Home, then you’ve got to make that decision to start purging what you don’t use anymore and start putting things away. You need to make decisions such as “I will throw out the trash, I will complete my project, I will put everything away when I am done with it, I will teach my children to clean up after themselves, I will find a home for this object, I will only buy what I need” and on and on.

Yup, this requires effort.* No, organization does not happen overnight. But it WILL happen when you make those positive decisions often enough. The peace of mind you will feel living in an organized home is entirely worth the effort.

*By the way, this amount of effort is often why people decide to hire professional organizers to help them get organized. An expert organizer can help you figure out what decisions you are making that are creating the chaos in your home and what kinds of new decisions you can make that will bring about the change you want. They know whether it’s a new product – or a new behavior – that is needed.


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