Peaceful Organized Homes: Getting to the Root of Clutter

Creating Peaceful Organized Homes in 2014
If you are new to this Peaceful Organized Home (POH) series, you can catch up here.

A lot of people read organizing blogs and books looking for clever ways to organize their stuff.  They reason that if they could just organize it better then everything will be okay and they won’t have to get rid of anything requiring some tough purging decisions.  And let’s face it, no one likes to do that.  I also think it’s one of the main reasons why people are so hesitant to hire a Professional Organizer to help them as they think they will just be forced to throw it all away.  I get it I really do.  Whenever I work with someone though my goal is to never just barge in and start tossing everything out.  Yes I will work with you to come up with really great organizing systems so you can fit more into a small space but there is one simple little thing you need to remember.

Your home will only allow you to house so much stuff no matter how clever you are in disguising the clutter.

There will come a time when even those bins and baskets you are stuffing stuff into become clutter.

It is dreadfully hard to relax in your home if it is packed full of stuff.  You can convince yourself every January when you walk into Walmart and see all the organizing products lined up in beautiful row and beautiful row that they are the answer to all your problems.  And yes that may be the case AFTER you do all the necessary work that comes before that part of the PROCESS.  For those that may be unfamiliar with my PROCESS steps, it is a series of steps that when done in the right order make it extremely effective to organize any space.  There are key steps that must occur BEFORE you can start organizing stuff into cute bins and baskets.

The solution for conquering clutter does not rest solely on buying more stuff.

Instead we need to get to the bottom of why clutter is happening in the first place which will in turn provide you with a better chance of it not getting out of hand again in the future.

Getting to the Root of Clutter

  • Perhaps you’ve let things go in the home because you don’t have the time to deal with it.  Maybe then what we have is a time management issue and not a clutter issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Perhaps you are overwhelmed with all that has to be done and keep putting it off.  Then it becomes obvious that we have a procrastination problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Perhaps clutter has become a problem because you just keep buying stuff.  Then what we have is a shopping issue that needs to be dealt with.
  • Perhaps clutter is a problem because there is no rhyme or reason to where anything lives.  Then what needs to be tackled is creating storage systems that work for the whole family.
  • Perhaps clutter is a problem because no one knows who is responsible for what and so no one does anything about it.  Then it becomes a matter of setting up chore schedules and implementing habits so everyone is involved in the upkeep.
  • Perhaps clutter has become a problem because we can’t say no to the lovely friends and family who pass on hand me downs or buy an abundance of gifts for the kids.  Then this is what should be dealing with first.

Do you see where I’m going with all these examples?  I’m sure I could go on and on.  Getting to the root of clutter is essential to overcoming it.

Clutter becomes clutter for a reason and it doesn’t just happen. 

We allow clutter to happen and unless we address the root issue(s) and make some changes in that area then no matter how much you try to organize your stuff you will never get ahead.  You will remain in a perpetual state of chaos, never being able to slow down and experience a peaceful organized home that allows you to catch your breath and say Ahhhh, Home!

What is the root issue of the clutter problems in your home that may be keeping your home from being your haven?

Have nothing in your home that you do not love or use or have the room to store

Linking up: Design Dining and Diapers, House of Rose, Thirty Handmade Days, Six Sisters Stuff, Your Homebased Mom, A Bowl Full of Lemons

Filed under: Organizing Basics, Simplicity
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Comments

18 Responses to Peaceful Organized Homes: Getting to the Root of Clutter

  1. 1
    Rosie says

    Wonderful post, very inspirational, thank you. I’m very lucky, my lovely husband is entirely on board in our quest to organize our home. I have mobility/health issues, so I’m very grateful for his help. As for the type of clutter we have, it’s just having collected too many things over a lot of years. In our almost 30 years of marriage we’ve built up large collections of books etc. We’re now sorting & donating and it feels fabulous! The best thing about de-cluttering so far has been that we’ve found things we’d forgotten we had, we’re helping others by donating, creating space and we’re left with treasures, even if only to us :) Things that hold memories for us both, things that make us smile. We still have a long ways to travel on our de-cluttering journey but I feel sure that by the time we finish the last room in our home we’ll be proud of the results, and we’ll have done it together. Thank you for the inspiration Laura, I love reading your posts. Sending hugs x

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Oh what an inspiration YOU are!! Thanks for sharing your journey with us and I love how it’s coming together for you and your husband. Day by day, bit by bit and you are giving your memories a place to shine so they can be treasured and not just hidden away somewhere. So great!!

      Laura

  2. 2
    Alana in Canada says

    I declutter regularily and do periodic purges: we do not live in a cluttered home. (messy, yes, but everything does have a home!). This month, I decided to participate in the Minimalist Game where you get rid of the number of items corresponding to the number of the day on the calendar. So, for example, today being the 25th, I found 25 things to donate, trash or recycle. It’s been a fabulous challenge!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Yes we don’t live in bubbles so life with never stay perfectly organized which is totally okay because clean up is usually a breeze when everything has a home and systems are in place to manage the clutter regularly. I like that challenge, sounds awesome!

    • 2.2
      Diane Vesci says

      I love the idea that each day you purge some based on the number of the day. I can just imagine how much stuff that I just don’t need and that someone else could use.
      I want to do this right now, but I also want to start saving the same way as well. Can you imagine how much money I will have at the end of the month to put towards more organizing supplies.

  3. 3
    Leslie says

    Oh! But I do love this post.
    Oh! But I do love simplifying.
    Oh! But I do love you and your message!
    Thank you for this.
    The word “peaceful” not only resonates in my mind, but in my heart!

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      Haha, you did see this even before I commented on your Facebook post. I didn’t even realize that, great minds think alike Leslie!

  4. 4
    CONNIE says

    I COULD SEE MYSELF IN SEVERAL EXAMPLES. *I GET OVERWHELMED EASILY=PROCRASTINATION. NO RYTHM OR REASON=(AND WE HAVE TO MOVE AGAIN) SO I NO MORE THAN START SETTING SYSTEMS UP, THEN A NEW HOMES LAYOUT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED. CHORE CHARTS=AGAIN MOVING…LIKE MY SON ALWAYS TAKES OUT THE GARBAGE, SHOVELS OR MOWS, OR RAKES WHATEVER NEEDS TO BE DONE. THE OLDEST DAUGHTER USUALLY DOES THE KITCHEN DUTY=COOKING AND BAKING AND ORGANIZING & CLEANING. YOUNGEST DAUGHTER=GETS DISHES, OR BATHROOMS. SO THE CHORES GUIDELINES EXISTS, BUT ONCE THEY HAVE A REALLY HARD HOMEWORK NIGHT–THEN I LET THE CHORE SLIED=GETTING BEHIND.
    CONNIE

  5. 5
    Becky Lowmaster says

    I can see time management is mostly my issue. I do have too much stuff to go thru in my office area. Where I need to get my desk space
    organized finally! But it’s coming along slowly. Surely. Eventually! Keep on motivating me. I will succeed! Thanks!

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      Slow and steady wins the race Becky!

  6. 6
    Tina says

    Oh, I’m definitively master of procrastination. With three kids under five I keep telling myself, that I don’t want to start sorting through this or that pile, because I won’t be able to finish sorting it anyway, as the children are (probably) disturbing me before I’m finished with it. And I don’t want to start sorting three times through the same pile. But this way, it doesn’t get sorted at all and is just getting bigger and bigger…. I’m trying to take the 15 minutes approach now. And reading your blog really keeps me motivated! Thank you!

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      Thank YOU Tina! Yes and totally every little bit helps, it’s always amazing to see how much can actually get done in just 15 minutes.

    • 6.2
      Diane Vesci says

      I love the 15 minute approach. I was able to in about 3 weeks, 15 minutes before and after work everyday. sorting out my old file cabinets and shredding all the paperwork, it really works as long as I work it and keep it up. I am the procrastinator for sure, I truly believe that.

  7. 7
    Monica says

    Is it possible to be a mixture of all those reasons and if so what do you fix first?

  8. 8
    Laura says

    Yes absolutely! Work on as many at one time as you can without feeling overwhelmed. For instance setting up a chore system for your kids can help solve multiple problems as will just stop buying stuff you don’t need. All the best to you on your journey, you’ve got this!

  9. 9
    Natasha In Oz says

    I’m a fairly organised person generally but I think I need to do a better job de-cluttering after reading this.

    If you have a minute to spare I’d be thrilled if you could link up your post to my weekly Say G’Day Saturday party. It has just started and this would be a great addition.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  10. 10
    Susanne says

    An eye opening post, Laura!

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