A Common Organizing Mistake That Can Keep You Stuck

Problem: Though your home is sizable and filled with gorgeous treasures, it still feels super disorganized. You have no room for the things you actually use on a daily or weekly basis and it’s making you mad! You are craving systems! Yes, that’s what you need, some sort of system. Or a mansion…either one. 

If you’re reading this, here’s what I know about you: You value beauty, good design or some piece of aesthetic loveliness. This is apparent in many ways from your key chain to your perfume tray to your priceless art pieces to your limited edition Swarovski bunny (go with it). I already know your environment is important to you because of who and what you choose to surround yourself with. I KNOW you have tried to get it together and that you are a smart person. So, why, then are you feeling confused, disorganized, ashamed and clutterfied? 


Here’s the lineup…

Confusion happens when we don’t have enough information. 
Disorganization happens when we postpone decisions or misplace our priorities. 
Shame happens when we feel like we are doing something wrong. 
Clutter happens when we neglect our space (due to previous reasons and becoming overwhelmed). 

Can you start to see the pattern here? If you are feeling any of these symptoms, your priorities are off balance, which is causing some serious setbacks. Ain’t no thang, honey! Read on…

I’m going to lay it out for you, but don’t take it personal (I’m just a bottom line kind of gal). 

You are prioritizing the wrong stuff. 

By placing seniority on your valuable decor items, the daily necessities are left to fall between the cracks (literally). So, what happens when we prioritize our valuable decor items and neglect what we actually USE? Clutter, confusion, disorganization and shame.   

It took a while for me to recognize this pattern in myself and then also to see it in my clients again and again. 

Another bottom line: You have plenty of space. I see this predicament with most of my clients no matter what the size of their home, and I’m finding myself in this situation at least once a month with them. That’s right! You are not alone. It’s happened enough now that it’s time for me to bottom line it in a blog (hooray!). My wish is for you to take charge of your space so you can have both beauty AND function. 

The Challenge

1. Distinguish what in your space has a place or system and what doesn’t. Lump ALL of your belongings into categories and put into two columns titled “Has a Home” and “Doesn’t Have a Home” 
(Potential categories include: Art, furniture, clothes, paper, office supplies, tableware, toiletries, make up, jewelry, shoes/accessories, etc. You can get as specific as “bunny collection” or as broad as “paper”).  

2. Next, you can see which categories have homes and which ones don't. Star or circle the categories that are in the “Doesn’t Have a Home” column that really need a home and could use some organization and priority.
(These are categories you use and need often such as clothes, toiletries or office supplies.)

This is where you will begin to see which categories need to possibly shift in your space setup priority list. Maybe you need a shelving unit where the huge painting is so you can easily access the books you read every day. Perhaps you need to put a wardrobe in place of that never-used victorian chair so you can hold all of your clothes or accessories neatly. Consider, even, the possibility of donating some excess decor to make room for (cute) containers for your supplies or toiletries. 

3. Finally, make a new two-column list titled “Priority” and “Extra”. Put the newly dubbed priority categories in the "priority" column and the categories that you don’t use often in the "extra" column.

Now, the priority categories are your first order of business. Move the extra items away and make room for the priorities (what you need and use). Put the priorities front and center, what I call the “prime real estate” where items are reachable and accessible.  If there is room at the end for the extras to live, great! If not, donate, store, sell or let go of. 

Decor should always be the last step in space planning. Keep in mind that your priority categories can be beautified, too!  It's just an opportunity for creativity.

Final bottom line: Systems help, but not until necessities have priority and take precedence over decor. (TWEET THAT)


Cheers to beauty AND function,


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PPS - Are you craving more support with your decor and necessities? I'm launching a special Feng Shui program in July called Around the Ba'gua. It will include organizational support, Feng Shui teaching, community accountability and sweet bonuses! Sign up here if you are interested in receiving more information about it.