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Why we organize.. escaped thread

Posted by maddiemom6 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 17, 05 at 20:32

I am moving this from the Playroom thread since I don't want it to be a reflection on individual people and how and what they choose to own, I am feeling that it's unfair and I don't persoally feel I want to make people justify what they own. ...soooooo moving right along..

When I organize I do it for the feeling of peace I get when things are in their proper place. For this means getting rid of things that are not being used, but for others this might mean buying more bins to store these things. I mean.. mind you I consider the the ~Container Store~ right up there as my personal Mecca, but after a while there is just only so many storage bins one can have!

Oddly enough the upshot of getting stuff cleaned up has been a better sex life.. when my bedroom looks good ( as opposed to the dumping ground it can become) I feel good, I want to be there.. and that is a good thing.. this in turn leads to a very happy husband.. who is then also more productive.. so while taking the time to do these things does feel a bit much at time.. the far reaching effects are so good that it's benifit cannot be denied.

So why do you organize.. and what unexpected benifit have you gotten from it.

Maddiemom6


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

My dh explained it perfectly yesterday. I love containers. My joy is to put containers into containers. And he's right. I have always loved stationery stores as well (that statement actually got me a job in an office once) looking for organizational items before organizing stores became popular. So, I guess my obsession with bins, etc. fits right in with organizing.


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

It brings peace. If I have too much stuff, it's a constant battle of feeling as if I have to use it and if I'm not using it, then I feel even worse. No matter what...too much stuff makes me feel like I have an endless "To Do" list.

Less stuff, less money. Everything has a place. Who wants to look for stuff forever?

I also found after getting rid of a bunch of "crap" my mind cleared...doing a "project" w/a 4 year old wasn't as cumbersom as I didn't have to figure out what to do. Now, it makes decision-making easier.

I feel invigorated, more stress free and it's given me a new outlook on life that after buying all this "stuff", I still wasn't happy.

Ahhh then there's the time I save, because I'm not picking up constantly.


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Peace is definitely the keyword for me. Chaos brings unrest and tension. Organization brings peace, calm and a sense of enjoyment in my surroundings. Also, being able to actually find things is certainly an added bonus. I too have found that our moods and how well we get along as a family are very much influenced by how neat our home is. Messy = cranky in our household!

Brenda


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Marie, your joy is containers. Talley Sue's joy is labeling! LOL

I already knew I had a problem, when I started hanging out here. When we moved in 1995, DH was very ill, so other people packed and moved my belongings lock stock and barrel. Usually a move is a chance to purge but instead, 5 years after the move, I still had stuff squirrelled away, because I never had the energy to tackle it.

Hanging out here, learning new habits (TS's First, do no harm), and then reading the book "Clearing your clutter with Feng Shui", I finally got to the mental place I needed to be, in order to make it happen.

Now, it's such a joy to rid my life of actual, true, honest-to-goodness clutter and junk. I can really enjoy the treasures in my life now (treasure meaning things in the house as well as family).

For example, when the closet is decluttered and organized, laundry just goes faster and does not seem like such a chore. Clothes are easier to put away. Life just feels better and our energy is better.

Clutter-free led to better Feng Shui over time, and I love it!


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Peace and security. I like to know that we have what we need and can find it or get something if we need to. We went through some hard years a while back and had a hard time making ends meet. The house was a mess, and I didn't feel that we could get rid of things that we might need. I was stressed out. I now appreciate just being able to pay bills as they come in and to be able to find whatever I need without looking for hours. I really don't need much to be happy!


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Talley Sue's joy is labeling! LOL

wow, I'm pretty obvious, aren't I? LOL!

I feel crummy about myself when my home isn't organized, which means most of the time.

Interesting that note about a better sex life. I think feeling better about myself--about my home, my wardrobe, my routines--would make me more accessible and loving to the people around me.

Sometimes it feels as though I have to take time *away* from my family to organize. Something to work on.


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

For me, it's a reflection of how I want to live. IMO, the term "peace" doesn't quite go far enough to explain it all for me.

The peace comes in simple things, like living in an environment uncluttered by extraneous "things" and a riot of colors and patterns and textures. There is a joy in quiet and there is a joy in being free of "visual noise," as well.

But the peace also comes in knowing I can spend more time on what I want to spend more time on -- not tasks I don't enjoy, like dusting collections and finding room I don't have for stuff I don't really need.

And the peace also comes in knowing that I have "enough." In fact, I believe almost all of us have "enough." Even those of us who are among the less-well-off are blessed with shelter and food and security and material goods which are well beyond what most of the rest of the world encounters. And I feel better that I'm not indirectly commissioning the drilling of yet another oil well so I can buy more plastic goods I don't really use or that some pasture somewhere is being converted to a multi-level chicken coop.

And it comes in the additional emotional energy I have. I've found that having lots of items on my to-do list saps that emotional energy. Life brings enough challenges; I don't need to add self-inflicted wounds!


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Being organized allows me to use my time efficiently. That is probably the most important aspect of organizing for me - the ability to not feel guilty when I want to just sit for an evening, or join a writer's group (which I just did), or start a new hobby without worrying that it will completely overwhelm my life and my space. The more organizing I do, the more I realize that it's a mindset for me - a way of living life in an organized *manner*, rather than just organizing *things* (that comes naturally when I have the correct mindset).

So I guess for me, I ultimately organize so I can pack as much stuff (not necessarily tangible "stuff", but activities, people, and "downtime" too) into my life as I want to, and get the most I possibly can out of every day. It's not something I constantly have on my mind - but when I really think about it, that's the whole reason. :-)


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

I organize so that when I need to tell DH where to find something, he can go there and find it!


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Let me just say it's a large AMEN to the part of Steve's post I have copied below.

______________________________
For me, it's a reflection of how I want to live. IMO, the term "peace" doesn't quite go far enough to explain it all for me.

The peace comes in simple things, like living in an environment uncluttered by extraneous "things" and a riot of colors and patterns and textures. There is a joy in quiet and there is a joy in being free of "visual noise," as well.

But the peace also comes in knowing I can spend more time on what I want to spend more time on -- not tasks I don't enjoy, like dusting collections and finding room I don't have for stuff I don't really need.
__________________________________

And it is a matter of being able to find what I want, my kids can put up things, my husband should have the ability to put up his things, and so on.

Ginger


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

And here I am, stuck in a mentality which nags at me daily: "Why DON'T I organize?" I want to....I know how to....I have the tools to.....I know why I should.....I have the time...and LOVE the results when I do.....

So why am I stuck?


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Maura, Do you just need some lubrication?


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Just wanted to say...

Like everything, organizing is a process. Maybe getting unstuck is starting small. Today, we cleaned out the drawer under the windowseat and organized the lightbulbs. (Yes, I know it sounds squirrely.) They were spread out all over the place and taking up far more real estate than they were worth. It took ten minutes, gave me a box of stuff to sell at the next yard sale, and we even decided on a price while we were at it. There was enough room in there to include my little box of household tools. I also found a home for a big homeless tray and other miscellaneous items. For a 10 minute work-out, it was incredibly satisfying! Not to mention I found some of the first halogen light bulbs that are on their way to being collectors items. When did we buy those?! They have to be at least 15 years old! There was a 300 watt bulb in there we haven't used since 20 years ago. WHY DO I STILL HAVE THESE? I think it's time to let someone else collect them.

Now I just have to organize and clean the garage, so I can put the Sale items in there...


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

I bet there likely is an instinct involved in our desire to organize that kind of goes along with the homing/cocooning needs that most of us have, at least most who read this forum. Kind of like when birds build nests for their young. They have definite rules and don't just build it at random, at least the ones I've seen. The desire to be organized takes it to a different level beyond just building a nest but I bet it is still the same general part of the brain (can you tell I'm not a biologist? LOL).

Anyway, seems that being organized makes one more efficient thus increasing one's performance at whatever they are performing at, whether it is child-rearing or studying for a quiz or managing their money. For those who are inclined toward the "survival of the fittest" theory (hope this doesn't get too controversial, don't want to get too deep), seems to me that being organized increases one's "fitness" and thus one's chances for survival.

Since my DH and I haven't been surviving very well in the chaos we have been living in causing our stress to go up and our money difficult to keep track of, I think I would have to say that I hope to become more "fit" by becoming organized (which I'm doing with the help of this forum and other places) a little bit at a time.

(For those who aren't asleep yet because of the length of this post), I will add that another theory might be that we all have a case of OPCD (Obsessive Personality Compulsive Disorder) and just enjoy the bonding that goes along with sharing our disorder. (LOL!)

--Alice


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

This thread is a gem; everyone of you summed up what we are all striving for here and the ultimate end result of organizing, be it only one small area of a home at a time, can only bring just rewards.... mentally and physically.

claire, you are too funny..... I love the way your mind works.


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

To Maura63 -

You ask: "So why am I stuck?"

Could it be because of the dreaded "P" word? (PERFECTIONISM! hiss, hiss)


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

...Obsessive Personality Compulsive Disorder...

Hey, watch it! I resemble that remark... ;-)

Uh...that's actually why I haven't been around here lately - my newest "obsession" has pretty much kidnapped my attention for the time being. Interestingly (but not surprisingly), a big part of that obsession has been *organizing* all the tools and things involved with it! LOL


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

I often wonder how much more enjoyable life must have been when people had few possessions to manage. My grandmother, who was never well off and lived very simply, played piano for her family and guests, had a closet full of sheet music, and raised seven wonderful daughters. To me, most possessions are a ball and chain. But with seven children of my own, I find we really do need quite a bit.... But there is as much stuff that we really don't need. And why can't I throw away the original boxes stuff comes in?????


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

AlicesRestaurant,

I don't think it is PERFECTIONISM for which I am striving...just day-to-day order.

I would like the household to be at the point where it could run without me...to have all my ducks in a row, so to speak. In other words, if I wanted to take an "extended vacation" (because I don't want to be morbid here), I want "systems" in place that my family could embrace. If that is perfectionism then yeah, I guess I have to look at that aspect of my personality.

Once during a vacation week while a family was out of town, another parent needed an important document (on behalf of a team) from the vacationing family. The Mom was able to direct the parent (first, how to break into the house) then exactly to that paper, from 500 miles away.

I was impressed.

Maura


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Maura, you might be able to do that, even in a messy house. I know I probably could, at least an important document. I might not be able to tell you where that third blue kneesock is, but and important paper, I could find.

I too think people had more TIME for the things that mattered when they had less STUFF to manage.


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

I know that *I* suffer from the perfectionist thing.. and have to really work to get past it.. and do most of the time. But I see it creep in when I am putting off stuff I need to do because Of one small detail that really in the end does not matter. Like not doing the kids bathroom until I got more Mr. Clean Sponges..now really... nor even worse since I hate the walls in there so very much I keep thinking of painting but what the room really needed at the moment was a good scrubing. To get past these things often I just have to start... not a big start.. but a small one..and from there I gain the energry to do what needs to be done. It sure can be hard.

maddiemom


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Another wonderful thread. And by way of an update, I do throw away more "orginal boxes" than I did eight years ago, but it's still a challenge!

Following the structure and philosophy of Flylady has slowly transformed my life, my view on stuff, and our home. This, and the fact that as my children have grown up, having their friends over has compelled us to raise our housekeeping standards so that the living areas are always company ready. Thank God, we need all of the help we can get!


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RE: Why we organize.. escaped thread

Whoa, a March 2005 thread has been reborn! :-) I like forums that don't "expire" their information.

I have to organize to keep from being committed to a mental hospital. I wish that were a joke, but it's not. Some form of OCD I suspect.....


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