Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Don't Make it More Complex

I originally wrote about this topic in Oct. 2007, but am sharing it again because the issue popped up with a client recently.

I once heard Dr. Phil say that problems may be complicated but solutions are generally simple. This is similar to when my mom used to say, upon hearing me tell her "it hurts when I (fill in the blank)", "then don't do (fill in the blank)". Sometimes things are easier said than done, but when it comes to organization, Dr. Phil's pithy philosophy works.

You can come up with a long story about a piece of furniture and why it is in your house, or what is in a box, or why a system is set up in your routine, but ultimately the 'fix' can be short and sweet. It is common for clients to want to offer me explanations, excuses and reasons things are the way they are -- that's OK. But part of my job as a Professional Organizer is to bottom-line it and play devil's advocate. What if we don't do something that way anymore? What if we got rid of that? How about we try moving this there and that to another room?

There may be emotional reasons that become obstacles to getting organized. You may not like to hear the simple solution but that doesn't make it less true. You may have to admit to yourself that you don't actually want to deal with the decision of whether to keep or toss. Julie Morgenstern writes: "Often, it's hard for people to let go of things they aren't using anymore because they infuse them with a tremendous amount of meaning. These objects come to represent another time, person, or part of themselves that they feel will be lost forever if let go."