From Chaos Comes Simplicity

Too often I let my own organizing projects go by the wayside. I am too tired when I get home and my creativity is zapped when I return from a client. I pour my heart and soul into figuring out their organizing solutions and often there is not enough left for me to take on my own projects. I let my organizing issues escalate to where I can’t take it anymore and I have to give myself an organizing intervention.

I think it is important for people to understand that I do not live a perfectly organized life. I have areas that are great and I have areas that are in need of major improvement. Possibly my imperfection is what makes me a better organizer. I don’t judge as I know the journey my clients are on, as I am on it with them.

For the most part my  house is very organized, open any drawer and look at the counters and 90% of the time you will find simplicity. I give much credit to MR. Simplicity. He likes an organized home. I joke that if you are going to stop by please give MR. Simplicity 10 minutes notice so he can make everything tidy. For me, come on over and see that I haven’t gone through today’s mail and I am wearing my comfy clothes with my hair in a pony tail on top of my head.

But I realized an office intervention was in order as MR. Simplicity kept going in my office and “straightening” my piles of paperwork. I have been on trips without him and he has asked about my office and I said just throw everything that isn’t essential into a box and I will deal with it later. Sound familiar? Yes I have the “deal with it latter” dilemma too! It should come as no surprise that those boxes are still siting there taunting me as I look at them. One is in my bedroom closet and one is in my laundry. Yes, he has done this twice for me. There they sit, jeering me. Rearing their ugly head saying things like, “you call yourself an organizer?” or “you need to deal with this mess.”

I have recently started working with two business coaches and one gave me the assignment of being more authentic and the other had the assignment to get my office organized. I have major goals for 2016 and they are not going to be completed if I ignore the elephant in my office. Ok, I don’t have an elephant in here, I think?

My office has good bones. I had a closet installed last year and it has made a major difference. But one of my favorite organizing phrases is, it’s the process not the products. So I could have every organizing product made, and I do, but unless I take the time to go through the organizing steps I am going to go nowhere.

So this weekend I pulled everything out of the my office. I took everything on the floor that was hiding under my desk and under my bench and stuck on the floor of my closet. I cleaned off my desk and only left my monitor and a lamp. I put everything on the floor of my living room and removed the chaos from my office.

I took the time to wipe down my desk and lift everything up. Lifting up my monitor I realized I didn’t like the books that were underneath it adding height. I quickly figured out I had the perfect thing in my bedroom. It gave my monitor the height and allowed me to even hide my speakers behind it.

Gone is my mouse pad that was a little grungy. I vowed I was only bringing in items that brought me joy. So MR. Simplicity made me a mouse pad from pictures that I had taken down off of my wall. Now I look down at those pictures and a smile comes to my eyes as those are joy filled pictures of my life.

I took things off the wall that added clutter. One was a large collage of photos and words as part of a gift MR. Simplicity gave me a few years ago for Mother’s Day. It was hard to get rid of the gift but he understood my need to get rid of all visual clutter in my office. In this case, clutter extended to the walls too.

I worked in small chunks of time over the weekend. I would stop and really think about the items I wanted to bring back in. Organizing is not a sprint, it is a marathon, taking time. Miracles are not expected in hours, but in days.

Yes I wrestled with the guilt of gifts I had been given or items that I had paid good money for. But I would remind myself that I needed to do what I tell my clients and let go of all those feelings of guilt along with the items.

I have implemented the rule of putting everything away when I am done with it. Usually I just move from project to project or use my office as a dumping ground as I wait to someday put things away. But too often someday never came and increased the chaos.

Now I sit with my office with only the things I want in it. I have fresh flowers on my desk. I have hand lotion to my right for my dry chapped hands that smells like spring and my paper calendar at my left allowing me to quickly glance and see how my week and day are going to unfold. I am taking my time bringing things back in. The office of calm and serenity has returned.

Footnote: Step out of my office into my living room and you will find the dumping’s from my office. I have set a deadline of one week. I have started making piles for MR. Simplicity to take away. He anxiously asks me if I am ready for the piles to disappear. I think he is nervous that someone is going to stop over. This week you may need to give him an hour’s notice.


To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!