A love/hate relationship with organizing?

by | Dec 28, 2017 | Organising & Blogging | 18 comments

Love being organized?  But never get to where you want to be? Hate being too organized because it cuts your creativity bent? Don’t feel guilt! Find your way to better solutions that suit you. The love/hate relationship with organizing maybe tamed.

Your organizing background

I come from a “cleanie” background. Maybe some would call a “Born Organizer”. With many children in the house, I had a mother who worked to make the home “ultimately clean and tidy”. I must admit I have not lived up to the high expectations I have put on myself at times.  I have been favored (I think) with a husband who is a bit of a “clutter bug”.  While I may think something a trifle messy – he sees it as quite tidy.  When I see things a trifle unclean – he sees it as “spotless”. (His eyes are also better than mine!)

How things are set out in our childhood and how we are taught has a profound effect. Making a comparison stays with you when young. How do you class your background and foundation years? Organized or not or somewhere in-between?

In a large family – we sometimes went to other’s homes.  I recall one in particular. The young woman took time to sit down and took time to show us how to sew on her sewing machine. Her house (by the standards I was used to) was full of items on benches, dishes in the sink and items cluttering the floor.  Two feelings conflicted.

CREDIT: Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

One was her caring attitude as she took time to explain and be right there with us. The second was – “Oh the house is a mess”.

I am reminded of Maya Angelou’s wise words: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The appearance of the home first made me feel a little uncomfortable.  But the lady’s caring attitude as I sat at that sewing machine I have never forgotten. It has been the main factor I have always remembered – her attitude.

Your attitude will show. What you do in life and what you prioritize.  There will always be jobs left unfinished or more you could do.


If you find yourself spending 90% of your life “doing upkeep” and little on your attitude you will have missed out on much.   How do you make people feel when they come to your personal space?

(Luke 10:38-42)

My organizing work

Somehow in my busy life, I have been asked a few times to organize offices, craft rooms, and kitchens.  To me, it’s not so much organizing but maintenance. I see how the oft-quoted Einstein talks of an empty desk. He refers to it like it is similar to an “empty mind”. While there are definite advantages to having a tidy office and kitchen – it’s not hassling when you don’t quite “get there”.  Even a too organized craft room may have drawbacks. This when doing continual projects and keeping on that creative “bent”.

To make a point about a craft room with many projects. Yes, it is better to work on one or two projects at once. Having clutter because of having a set-out of all your items can be acceptable. Oh, unless of course your craft room doubles as an office – which can get a bit “hairy”.  I make hand-crafted cards and make sure I have ample time to work on a few small projects in an afternoon and evening. This because my craft takes up a lot of room and my craft room shares space with my office. Some crafts require a wide variety of resources in the making. Hand-crafted cards certainly do.  Just organizing stamps is something I have to keep at (every 6 months or so) – so it’s easier to find what I’m looking for.  So yes – it works for me to put stamps back on topics together – so it’s quick in locating. The time factor for any organizing is what motivates me.  I’ve just done a re-shuffle of storage recently to make some more accessible.


Clutter can disturb your peace of mind. Yet I know that nature has a sort of reckless abandonment – though still she is highly ordered by her Creator’s hand. It’s not letting others ideas of what standard yours should be, make you feel discouraged.

Don’t be stressed about your love/hate relationship with being organized

Here are some ideas when “organizing” seems to get a bit much for you.

  • Do 3 things each day – no matter how small.
  • Have 1 day off per week. Pre-prepare meals for the day. Have your space as nicely tidy as you are happy with the day before.
  • There are things “you could do”.  Somehow you might just have to let them go.
  • Don’t get list “fatigue”. Don’t let lists control your life.
  • You can handle doing things without a list.  I believe it helps your brain.
  • We are all different and so have different standards. “Be You”.
  • Be more spontaneous rather than so planned. There is normally always a way around something. This in case you have forgotten something because you didn’t go by your usual plan.
  • Always remember there is Plan “B”
  • Remember after all – life is about “relationships”
  • Start looking at what you have achieved. Don’t focus so much on what you haven’t.
  • Don’t forget you are unique and “you are loved”.
  • No matter how long the dust has been there – it will take the same amount of time to eventually clean. This also means the “dust bunnies” under the bed too.
  • If you have the need for a daily planner consider a flexible bullet journal
  • Last but not least – Let go of Perfectionism.  Do the best you can. Find ways to work smarter and easier.


Deborah Hunter Kells

I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. As noted you will find a variety of topics covered (see Home page) My appreciation goes to my team and others whom I collaborate with to make this blog successful and resourceful. Thanks especially to my team: Sarah, Tina, and Billah (See footer for more of their details)