And why money doesn't create organizing bliss.
Last week, I purchased a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens annual "Get Organized!" January edition.
The thing I love about this issue is it encourages readers to think beyond the day-to-day. Instead of mindlessly slogging through life, this issue asks subtly, "What kind of life would you like to have?" For example, the recipes looked delicious and the article on growing orchids (complete with gorgeous photos) was amazing. The two featured home makeovers were compelling as well.
I read it cover to cover and thought, "I want that life!"
Here's the catch
If you have kids or cats or forced-air heating, you probably don't have the right conditions in your home to grow orchids. You might not have the budget to make over your apartment or office. You might not have the time to buy fresh ingredients and prepare meals from scratch. So the life presented feels painfully out of reach.
(Um. And what, exactly, do these things have to do with organizing in the first place?)
When we want, but can't have, this is the mental leap that most people take:
- "I can't do the whole office makeover, but I could at least buy the chair."
- "I can't have that gorgeous bathroom, but I could at least buy the lined wicker baskets."
- "I don't have the body, but I could at least get the strappy heels."
It's not that there's anything wrong with this thinking. That's what the publishers want you to think. I counted - this magazine featured over 35 product endorsements and product suggestions not including ads. I didn't tally up the costs, but that's a lot of stuff to buy to get organized.
You only need two things to get organized, both of them are free.
A brain. It's a mighty muscle. Identify any area that's giving your trouble and your brain can solve it. Don't let a magazine do the thinking for you. What do you really need? Let your brain create a solution.
Time. Yup. I said it. Time isn't a commodity, it's a tool. Use a few moments to create order and you'll get clarity immediately. Use a few moments regularly and you'll get momentum. Repeat the pattern of moments/regularly long enough and your space will feel like a haven. Can you imagine what it would be like to work in a haven?
The moral of the story...
The thing I liked best about the BH&G January edition was the editor's message. Gayle Goodson Butler hits the nail on the head when she writes, "...living organized is something else entirely." Amen. Although she contends that it takes persistence and good habits, I propose that all it takes are your brain and time. Either way, none of these cost a dime.
Thoughts? Yeah, buts? Me, toos?