March 15, 2017

Don't Organize - Simplify!

And  more importantly, less to think about.

Help - I'm buried in a stuffalanche! My stuff is consuming me. What to do?

There are shelf-loads of books available to help get all your stuff organized.  You can buy closet organizers, storage locker organizers, shoe organizers, make-up organizers, garage organizers, and on and on the list goes. So many that one could use an organizer organizer.

There are even experts, consultants, coaches, and therapists devoted entirely to helping people organize all their stuff. Hmm...

Let me take a crack at it. On a purely non-profit basis of course.

My system is called, "Don't Organize - Simplify!". It's a non-organizing organizing system, and it has two straightforward, easy-to-follow steps.

1) The easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it. Let it go. As much as you can. Then, let go of more. Keep going until you start to feel free, fresh, and unburdened. That is a sign you are getting there! Go ahead, organize what is left. It should be easy.

2) Do not allow new stuff to take over your life ever again. Treat unnecessary stuff like the toxic waste that it is. Simplicity is the armour that protects you from mindlessness of consumer crap. Soon enough, you will lose interest in extra stuff altogether.
Contact me if you are tempted to buy something you don't need. I will talk you out of it. Congratulations, and continued success.

If you choose to organize, you will need to do it over again in a short while. And again. And again. And again. You get the picture. Your stuff takes over your life. You live for your stuff. And to get more stuff.

Stop! No more stuff.

Getting rid of the unnecessary allows one to decide what is truly necessary. It is the same whether we are talking about material clutter, or mental clutter.

Don't organize it - get rid of it. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Go ahead. I know you want to.

Ahh, feels good, doesn't it?


  1. Anonymous3/16/2017

    I literally start panicking if someone wants to give me a gift. Worse still, if they give the gift without checking first that it's something I can actually use. I have a little house and I like everything to have a use and a place. I received a second apron the other day and it almost tipped me over the edge!!


    1. Madeleine,

      When I do baking I usually take a bit in a container over to my neighbours. Sometimes they bring over baking to our place... in one of the tins I previously gave them. Noooo! But the baking is nice. :)

      It is good to hear your little house is coming along. I will not be sending you a housewarming gift. But I do send you best wishes.

  2. Anonymous3/16/2017

    Love the the words "toxic waste that it is", how true. When all this stuff is produced it destroys the environment.
    The environmental news is gloomy today. China will see lasting toxic smogs in winter due to ice melts in the artic and coral is starting to be increasingly bleached.
    If you look at the WW2 huge mobilization took place and scientific breakthroughs were achieved. There doesn't seem to be much urgency for the environment, even though the risks could be higher. We could change course, but this is new kind of battle as it is our ecosphere versus our consumption and at present most aren't interested. If an air force were dropping bombs people would take notice while climate change is gradual and remote. Who cares about the real world when you can get lost in the virtual world.
    At the beginning of my journey to simplicity journey I was inspired by Miss Minimalist whose blog has some good tips.

  3. Ah, stuff...
    Your post reminds me of George Carlin's stand-up routine about stuff. Priceless!
    Less stuff = more life!

  4. This is a great post. It got me thinking about simplifying food preparation. I thought that becoming plant based would help in our quest to be minimalists, but I find I'm cooking more than ever and becoming annoyed by that. I did give in and bought an Instant Pot which has saved a lot of time and made things easier (but, by doing so I added another "thing" to the kitchen cabinets that I'm trying to clear out).
    One thing that has worked out very well and is minimalist, simple and tasty is no knead bread. The new recipe I found on the Youtube sight of Food Wishes is perfect. It makes a less runny dough so when I get home at the end of the day I just cut it in half in the bowl it's been rising in, scoop out each hunk, put them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment and pull them into a baguette shape (no oil in or on the bread). Then I boil a small pot of water after I turn the oven to 450 degrees and put the pot of boiling water into the oven on the lower rack for 10 minutes before the bread goes in so it steams up the oven. It makes the bread puff up beautifully - no heavy cast iron covered cookware to mess with and about 5 minutes worth of work altogether. I can't even bring myself to make bread any other way now! Minimalist baking it's best.

  5. Anonymous3/16/2017

    So funny and true! Full disclosure: I LOVE reading household decluttering books. Some of them follow your simple rules, but a surprising number advocate just . . .buying more storage containers. Sigh . . . I have found that, for me, the easiest way to cut down on excess is the one in/one out rule. This has really helped me keep my belongings at a reasonable and manageable level. And I have found that maintaining the amount of possessions that are right for me also helps me appreciate what I have. A win-win!

  6. Anonymous3/16/2017

    Things are departing from my home. Weekly a box is going for the charity shop in a small country town. Sometimes is a small box, then next week a large one.My friend takes .I am not stressed how much possession I own .Before I read about downsizing ,hoping to learn. Quite a few make money teaching us,found it boring. Couple years ago I end up giving away maybe 50% of my earthly possession. My beach house is almost done and main residence needs some more work. I am quite lazy person by nature and enjoy every minute of doing nothing strenuous. I stopped purchasing but if I like or need I will get.Another great post Greg.Saffron

  7. There is a lot of truth to having less stuff greatly reduces the need to organize. I think you've cracked the code Gregg. ALL those books, videos, blogs, and magazines on organizing keep people running frantically in hamster wheels. I love the spaces that little stuff in them. You are right, there's no need for organizing. I don't even think about it. I have a few more humps to get over before my living space has no need for organizing.

    Yes Alex, I'm noticing there is no urgency for the environment too. Distresses me greatly. Here the focus is on social justice/equality and perserving human rights. In the many circles I'm traveling these days, I'm hearing nothing about the environment. Nothing.

    Erin, that's a great George Carlin routine, I watch it ever so often!

    Back to commenting with g acct. problem easily solve.


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