Home organization is hardly a new concept, but in recent years (helped along by personalities like Marie Kondo and a global pandemic that inspired many to finally tackle those long-delayed home improvement projects), home organization has become a hugely popular topic. Demand for home organization products is expected to reach a value of $12.7 billion in 2023! There are endless shows, books, blogs, influencers, trends, etc, dedicated to home organization, and there are myriad methods and tactics you can use to get your home organized…but are all of them good approaches you should use?
The world of home organization is cluttered with myths about what tools you need and methods you should follow to create that idyllic, perfectly-organized at-home oasis you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re new to the world of home organization, these myths can make getting organized seem even more intimidating and halt your plans before you even get started.
Don’t worry—we’re here to debunk some of the most common home organization myths and show you that home organization doesn’t need to be a harrowing and time-consuming chore.
In this post, we will explore 9 home organization myths to help you figure out what you should incorporate into your practice and what you can skip.
Myths #1 & 2: You have to buy organizational tools first/Organizing is expensive
Despite booming sales for home organization products, organizing your home does not have to be expensive and you don’t actually have to buy organizational tools to do it. There are ways to get organized without spending money. Buying organizational items first and then making your home work around those is a surefire way to create an organizational system that will fail.
Instead, declutter your stuff and repurpose items and packaging you already have to build a storage system that works for your house and your organizational style. You can always buy organizational tools later, but holding off on investing in new items like containers also gives you an opportunity to truly assess what you need so you don’t waste money on tools and practices that ultimately won’t work for your household.
Short on cash? Learn How to Organize your Home on a Budget.
DEBUNKED: Avoid rushing out to buy a bunch of organizational aids like containers. Instead, repurpose items you have at home and wait till you have a clearer idea of what you actually need to get organized before you invest in new items.
Myth #3: If you haven’t used it it in a certain amount of time, get rid of it
While this rule can apply to a number of items in your home and may actually be useful in some situations, you should exercise discretion when approaching organization this way. Sometimes, there are valid reasons you haven’t or wouldn’t use an item regularly. If it’s seasonal or for special occasions, or if it’s something you’re saving due to its importance to you personally, then it’s best not to get rid of it.
Instead, consider putting it into storage or creating a special place for it. For clothing, you may want to consider getting items that no longer fit properly tailored instead of tossing them, or maybe put them away for a season so it can feel fresh and new next year.
DEBUNKED: Sometimes you don’t use things regularly for a good reason! Consider each item carefully before you toss anything just because you haven’t taken it out of the closet in a while.
Myth #4: When you buy something, you have to get rid of something else
“One in, one out” is a common refrain in the organizer community. While this can be good advice in some scenarios and with some household items, such as kitchen gadgets or items you are replacing like-for-like, it isn’t always realistic or even practical. It’s this type of decluttering that can result in regret.
Before tossing something, it’s a good idea to really consider the item and whether or not it’s worth keeping, rather than getting rid of it simply because you got a new one. Rather than planning to just get rid of things, try to be more conscious when making purchases. Only add something to your home if it’s something you really need.
DEBUNKED: Unless you are replacing something like-for-like and you no longer need or want the old version, you don’t have to throw out something old every time you get something new. Try to make mindful purchases instead.
Myth #5: You have to be an organized person to get organized
While being a “classically” organized person can certainly make the organizational process go quickly and more smoothly, anyone can get their home organized, and it’s often the people who have the most trouble with staying organized who would benefit from it the most. The key is finding a system that works for you, whether it’s one that already exists or one of your own invention. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t understand it or if it doesn’t fit conventional norms, as long as it works for you.
There’s also nothing wrong with needing help getting organized, whether you’re seeking out assistance from friends and family or that of a professional organizer.
Professional organizers can help with a variety of different organizing tasks and be as hands-on or hands-off as you need. From decluttering assistance to organization planning and execution, professional organizers will help you get your home organized.
Interested in hiring professional organizers? TSI’s got you covered. We offer professional organizer services priced in blocks of 4 hours (half day) or 8 hours (full day). Depending on the type of project you need help with and the degree of complexity—organizing your closets vs. managing a long distance move, for example—you may need anywhere from 4 to 40+ hours. During your consultation with us, we’ll provide a rough estimate of how many hours will be required to meet your objectives.
DEBUNKED: Organizing is something anyone can accomplish given the right set of circumstances, you just have to find or invent a system that works for you.
Myth #6: There’s one right way to get organized
While there are many books on the subject of organization and infinite influencers to follow, organizing looks different for every person. Reading up on the subject can be helpful and give you ideas, but be honest with yourself about whether or not a system will work for you. After looking at all the advice out there, create a realistic system that actually works for you and your family. Avoid trends and unnecessary clutter by waiting to assess your needs and only picking organizational items you actually like and will use.
DEBUNKED: There are many different ways to get organized and none of them are the wrong way if it actually helps you get your space organized.
Myth #7 & 8: Organizing will take too much time/Organizing is something you can start and finish in a weekend
Organizing can be a long process from start to finish, but it’s actually very easy to break the project down into small tasks and chunks of time so you can chip away at it each day—in fact, this may be a more effective method than trying to tackle it all at once. By breaking the gargantuan-feeling task of organizing your entire home down into smaller, more manageable chunks, you’re more likely to actually complete the process and develop a system that truly works for your household.
While it can be tempting to take everything out and put it in a big pile, you may struggle to maintain the motivation or momentum to finish putting it away again or getting it out of the house. And no one will regret the giant pile of clothes on your bed at the end of the day more than you will.
DEBUNKED: Organizing takes as long as it takes and you shouldn’t feel pressured to get it done too quickly, or feel daunted by how long it could take. Don’t take on too much at once and break down organizing the whole home into small, manageable projects.
Myth #9: Make quick decisions about your stuff
Snap decisions can force you to make a choice about an item you’ve been waffling over. Some people find it helpful to put themselves under pressure in this way, forcing themselves to answer reflexively whether or not something is worth keeping. This may help you answer intuitively and honestly regarding your feelings for an item, but it can also result in regret down the road.
If you don’t feel strongly enough about an item to make a decision one way or the other, don’t force it. Put the item in a box and place it in storage with a plan to revisit it down the road. Your feelings about keeping it may clarify in time.
DEBUNKED: If you want to use quick decisions as a tactic for getting through the decluttering process faster, give yourself a cooling off period before donating or disposing of the item so you don’t have any regrets later on.
Don’t let organizational myths keep you from getting your home tidied up. Remember:
- You don’t have to buy organizational tools and it doesn’t have to be expensive
- You can keep things even if you haven’t used them recently
- You don’t have to throw something out every time you buy something new
- You can be a disorganized person and still organize your home
- There’s no right way to get organized
- Organizing takes as long as it takes, and that’s okay
- You should think through everything you plan to get rid of carefully to avoid having regrets
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