Organization, Simplicity or Both?

My by-line has always been simplicity – but what has that meant for me and for my clients? Granted my experience in this field is relatively short; my business is barely three years old.

However, one general trait I’ve noticed with people who seek out help from organizers is that, in one way or another, they share an underlying belief that more really is more. Most Professional Organizers, when pressed, will tell you that, in fact, less is more – there’s no way around this truth.

When working with clients, in order for me to be true to myself, and my clients I have never circumvented this truth. There is a crucial difference in being sympathetic to and supporting a client’s belief that any kind of overconsumption is healthy or in any way helpful. I cannot support the belief that anyone really NEEDS 20 black dresses or enough office supplies to open their own Staples (even though one day all of the Staples close and there is no other way to find a three ring binder).

While it is possible to reduce the size of your off-season wardrobe with bags that shrink wafer-thin (and suck the life out of your clothes) and it’s possible to double the size of your rod space with skinny hangers, there is a larger question which needs to be addressed. Here it is: how do all those things you struggle to keep under control in your space – how do they relate to your life in a larger sense? Are they helping you to accomplish what you want in life? Do they help you to relate to your family and your friends? Do they help you to fulfill your purpose?

I will now go out on a limb and say what I believe: overconsumption, in any form, whether it is activities, stuff or information, is the root of disorganization. Simplicity forms the basis for being and staying organized.

Simplicity is the antonym of complexity. For many people the first is synonymous with boring and the second, with exciting. Simplicity also means clarity, to see clearly what is important and what is not. How to spend the limited amount of time we have here on earth, to relax and enjoy what’s available to us right now, to listen and care for other people, to accomplish what we set out to do, every day.

Simplicity is not simple – it requires discipline, self-examination and honesty. Is this something that a professional organizer is equipped to help you with? This is a question that I and many of my colleagues struggle with and, perhaps, have not yet answered. I could never offer my services with integrity if I did not continue this struggle. Such questioning forms the basis for growth and change, for me and for my clients.

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