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Organizing? Or ?

We are still in the process of a) getting rid of stuff, and b) finding places for the stuff that we need.  We want to downsize our rented storage space this month with the goal firmly in place of getting to the point where we don’t need any exterior storage space at all.

So I am doing my part by sitting down with a cup of coffee and my laptop and perusing stories on organizing.  Thanks to Apartment Therapy for giving me “101 Organizational Helpers” with “stylish storage options”  and tips like

Even when your contents are stored and labeled, it means nothing if they’re not accessible. Stacking a group of boxes and storing them on wheels is a great way to utilize the back corner of a closet. When you need a particular box, out rolls your storage cart for easy access.

That is a good idea.  Also

consider repurposing a few things from the kitchen to help you straighten up your sleeping space. Silverware and ice cube trays can be used to sort jewelry and dresser drawers,

But then I ran across another article that reminded me of what it is all about.

Life Edited asked the musical question “Is Organization A Sham?

The article quotes The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus from their book “Everything That Remains” 

Discussing how to get rid of our stuff answers only the what side of the equation, but not the why; the action, but not the purpose; the how-to, but not the significantly more important why-to. In other words, the what is relatively easy. We all know instinctually how to declutter–how to get “organized.” But that’s just one part of the larger issue. Instead of “get organized,” I’ve decided I need to start thinking of organizing as a dirty word, a sneaky little profanity who keeps us from really simplifying our lives.

You see, our televisions would have us believe there’s a battle being fought on the consumption continuum, a battle between messy hoarders on one side and spruce organizers on the other. And from our couches it’s hard to see who’s winning. I’d like to posit, however, that these two sides are actually working together, colluding to achieve the same thing: the accumulation of more stuff. One side–the hoarders–does so overtly, leaving everything out in the open, making them easy targets to sneer at. Face it, we all laugh and point and say “I’m sure glad my house doesn’t look like that,” every time we see them on TV. But the other side–the sneaky organizers–are the more covert, more systematic, when it comes to the accumulation of stuff. Truthfully, most organizing is nothing more than well-planned hoarding.

Who among us has not glanced at one of those hoarding shows, shocked and yet fascinated, like staring into the abyss that our lives could spiral into if we weren’t ever vigilant.  Those hoarders, those poor, pathetic people, don’t think they are hoarding.  They know that they might need that thing, that old magazine with that article, that pair of shoes that just needs new soles, that pot that might come in handy.

All around us we see constant reminders that we NEED MORE STUFF.  The answer is not to find more places, more attractive containers and more efficient ways to hang onto it.

It’s important to see that the final goal is not to find places for everything we own, it’s to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit into our lives any more.  That will give us more time and energy to concentrate on what is really important.

About ladywholivesdownthelane

Starting the adventure of building a laneway house in the real-estate jungle of Vancouver, BC

2 responses »

  1. So true! I struggle with organization because we live in an old house (over 100 years old). So we don’t have closets, pantries, etc. but at the same time, if a much larger family didn’t need those things when the house was built..why do we? I’m constantly trying to straddle that fine line between well organized and too much unnecessary stuff!

    Reply
    • I completely agree. I remember moving into a pre-war house and wondering how two people could store their clothes in the little bedroom closet. But the truth is that they had fewer clothes. I am finding that I do quite well with fewer clothes, too. Of course, 100 years ago the family didn’t have to find room for their DVD collection.

      Reply

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