- Does it fit the function? (know what you’re storing before buying)
- Does it fit the physical space? (always measure twice)
- Does it fit the client’s aesthetic?
- Does it fit the budget?
- How easy is it to clean?
Being a realist, I’ve never understood the idea of ‘all or nothing’. The thought that if you can’t do something all the way or completely perfect (whatever happens to be your definition of perfect) that you wouldn’t do anything at all seems a bit extreme and rather ridiculous. Now of course there may be exceptions to this rule (there always are), but here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:
- living a more environmentally conscious life; instead of thinking you can’t or won’t completely change your lifestyle try just changing your lightbulbs to CFL, buy more locally grown food, switch to reusable bags, or whatever you know you can do and feel good about.
- dieting; you couldn’t resist a home made brownie at a party. This doesn’t mean you have to throw your diet out the window. Just say oh well, enjoy the brownie and get right back to it.
- home organizing/design; you know your home will never look like a page out of Real Simple magazine, but why not tackle one closet or one area of the home like your kitchen? Just having that one thing makes most people feel so much better…
I often tell people when organizing a space, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel for every area or thing you’re organizing. I apply the same general guidelines to everything I do with a few minor changes.
People tend to overcomplicate getting organized. They think that the more organizing products they have the better the results. I think these ‘magic’ products are just more stuff, and more stuff is not something most people need.
A fun side effect of being neat and organized is being called a neat freak and obsessive compulsive. It used to annoy me (just a little) but the truth is I just prefer having my things work for me, not the other way around.
I did this last year but thought I’d share this money saver with you now…
I was sick of my spring/summer wardrobe and eager to go out and buy all new things. Lacking the funds to do so, I went through everything piece by piece, trying on what I hadn’t been wearing. It seemed the problem wasn’t that I didn’t like my clothes it’s that I didn’t like the way many things fit. To the tailor I went. Much cheaper, quicker, and less stressful than going out and buying all new things.
Before becoming a professional organizer, I had a job I didn’t exactly love. One nice thing was the walk to the office which unfortunately turned into a moaning session about anything I happened to be upset about at the time (like having a job I didn’t love), until one day I told myself to shut up and name 10 things I was grateful for. It was not something I had ever really done and it starting out a bit superficial, like “I’m grateful it’s not raining”, but soon became my morning ritual, and now is used whenever I find myself needing a little perspective.