One of the most common issues that arises in the organising groups I'm in is that of feeling like there's not enough room. A feeling of defeat - it's just not possible to be organised.
This is caused by 1 of too issues.
1. More Stuff than Space.
2.Less Space than Stuff
Now I get while on the surface those two issues can look like they are the same thing. The angle in which we approach the problem will shape the solutions we are able to see.
A question I ask a lot is: Are you attempting to organise to the stuff instead of the space?
One of the keys to organising success is often limiting ourselves to the stuff to what will fit in the space.
Of course, for some people they will have it in their power to increase the space - buying new storage items, building or creating bigger house etc, but for most people, we need to keep culling until the stuff we have matches the space available.
For example, I have a set number of drawers and a wardrobe in my bedroom for clothes.
When I can't fit my clothes into that space - I purge.
We have a set number of bookshelves in our house - more books - okay let's be real - in my house too many books means I meant I bought a new bookshelf.... 🤣 I added an entire extra room to our extension to accommodate them. However, when I fill the copious amounts of space I now have on the bookshelves I will again be faced with either getting more shelves or paring down the books I have to the space.
Over the years our space expands and contracts. We generally start with our own room (perhaps even a shared room) while we live at home with our parents. Often moving to a flat or apartment, then moving to a house, then downsizing when the kids leave home, then even more as we may move to a retirement villa, and then probably moving back to a single room in a nursing home. Of course everyone will have their own trajectory of that expansion and contraction over the years.
At some point in our lives we will need to create a level of balance between the space available and the stuff we want to fit into it.
As a general rule our first step is generally to decrease the stuff until it fits in the space. There are of course exceptions to this - I myself upgraded from a flat to a house before having children, we then extended adding 3 extra bedrooms to our 2.5 bedroom house to make way for the 2 extra children that appeared (yes they totally just appeared - lol) while we were living here. For a long time though we did live in a level of chaos where we had more stuff than space.
Over the years I've used a storage unit - not a solution I recommend - especially as I now go through what we put in storage 18 months ago, only to find at least half of it was really actually bin worthy... we were paying a significant sum of money each month for our procrastination and putting off choices.
Learning to let go of Stuff is the first step. Too many people try to Organised before they S.O.R.T. Once we open our minds to letting go, we can decrease our stuff, and organising becomes simple.
We can not organise clutter, we can only cram it into places. To be clear - by my definition - Clutter is anything in excess of the space we have available for our stuff.
So, while we can attempt to create space for our stuff, generally we need to choose stuff for our space. If extensions, new furniture, or a home upgrade are not on the cards and you are finding getting organised difficult, generally the first step is a Cull.
Then learning to think in categories will be key to getting organised. But that's a conversation for another day.
The final thing I will add is that this journey is not one to be done alone. Letting go of our stuff is highly emotional and we are not meant to process our emotions independently. We are a species of bonding mammals which means we are meant to be in this together.
If you want to join a group of curious, creative, compassionate people who are on a journey to take care of today for a better tomorrow you will find us here: