You Can’t Organize Clutter

This is a Public Service Announcement: you can’t organize clutter. Many people think of “organizing” as buying some pretty boxes and shuffling things around until everything looks neat and tidy. But, especially if you’re like me, just knowing that those boxes are filled with a jumble of random objects is super stressful and saps your brain power and your energy.

The best way to organize? Get rid of stuff. It’s not that everything has to go, but if you have a bunch of unnecessary stuff lying around (especially if it is literal garbage!), it is going to affect your mind and your mood. Instead of hiding what you have, why not find prominent places for the things you care most about, and let go of the rest?

Of course, there are instances in which you need boxes (ideally pretty ones, but they don’t have to be) to functionally store or corral items. The secret is to get to the point where you like or need everything you own, and only then should you shop for boxes or bins that suit the storage needs you actually have. Otherwise you will A: end up with extra boxes that don’t actually help you organize or B: have a neat-looking house that is still FULL OF CLUTTER!

I am not saying that I have never tried to organize clutter; I have done it, many times! But I have finally begun to understand what it means to be truly organized. I like that saying: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” And hopefully, that place is not in the bottom of a drawer (or a floral storage container).

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