How to Begin Organizing

Ever hear the phrase or think, “I don’t even know where to begin.” (This phrase usually preceded or followed with a heavy sigh or moan). This is a common mantra for The Overwhelmed.

Joumor Principle: Clutter attracts clutter, and the opposite is true. Meaning, no one notices one more thing added to a pile of things shoved on a counter, but, as I like to say, you would notice a lone sock on the floor of a museum. Things are contextual to their environment, and the “cluttery” feeling comes from un-use and perceived irrelevance.

For example, if you have a bunch of coats on a coat rack near the front door, that can make sense and feel good. However, if it’s summer, the ten piled winter coats can feel cluttery. Could we put them in the closet until October? As you go to put them away, you may or may not discover you are done with some of them, and you naturally make a pile for donation. But start from the place of putting things away non-judgmentally, not forcing yourself to get rid of them. You get the idea, right? Organizing ≠ releasing- releasing is a natural effect of organizing things the way your mind works.

Joumor is not about getting rid of stuff:

1. Choose a small area to organize. If you truly don’t know where to begin or focus, start at the front door of your home or office, and keep the focus to a small area.

2. Remove what doesn’t belong. Maybe you have a bench near the door and you have shoes under the bench. You might very well want them there, no matter how they look- they make sense! But what is that empty pickle jar doing there? Remove what does not make sense for the context of the area and put it where it belongs. That may be elsewhere in the home or office, or, in fact, is to donate. The key is that it has become clutter where it is, and is not being used for its ultimate purpose.

You may be familiar with the entire Joumor methodology, or not. In fact, you can do just these two steps over and over in tiny areas, ideally each small area you organize is close to the last one you organized. As you create clutter-free zones, you fill up the space with your Intention, things magically feel like they no longer belong or can even rest there, and the area stays relatively clutter-free with minimal maintenance.

You might find yourself with some extra time this weekend.

If you’ve been ready to begin but you didn’t know where, you do now. Begin at the beginning with small steps and see where they lead you. Always.

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