So often simplifying is mentioned in the same breath as organising.
The logic goes: in order to be living a truly simple life, you must have a host of systems in place that will organise every aspect of your day.
You can schedule your hours, systematise your housework, organise your wardrobe, catalogue your paperwork, arrange your kitchen utensils, reconfigure your garage to hold more stuff and roster your down-time.
But true simplicity means many of those systems are unnecessary.
- I do have a calendar but much of my weekly schedule is in my head, because it’s really not that complicated.
- I don’t need a special shoe rack to organise my shoes – I don’t own that many.
- Filing cabinet? It has one drawer.
- Toys? They all have a place in the play room.
Living a simple life means that being organised for the sake of being organised is largely unnecessary. If you strip away what you do not need, you will find that life doesn’t need nearly much organising at all.
But Being Organised Helps Me!
To a point, yes.
Life is busy. And some organisation helps corral the busy-ness of life into a semblance of order. So I’m not telling you to do away with your diary, bill paying system or ironing baskets. If they help you in creating a less stressful day, wonderful.
But at some point we start to organise instead of simplify.
- Do you need to organise your filing cabinet - or clear it of all that is unnecessary?
- Do you need to organise your wardrobe – or remove everything that doesn’t fit and hasn’t been worn?
- Do you need to have a complicated calendar of extra activities for the family – or simplify your schedule?
- Do you need to roster in work meetings – or assess which meetings are essential?
- Do you need that new “storage solution” – or do you just need less stuff?
Life Is Not Organised.
You need to leave space for life to happen.
And life is messy. Life is uncertain. Life is spontaneous. Life is not organised.
You are reading this because you want a simpler, slower life. And while being organised – to a point – means you have time and space for life to unfold peacefully, over doing it means you run the very real risk of sucking the joy from your days.
And that’s our end goal isn’t it? To rediscover the joy. The zing of doing something spontaneous. The flash of excitement when you realise, “Why the hell not? I’d love to go to the beach/play in the sun/have a nap.”
If you over-do the organising, if you schedule the guts out of your days, weeks, months, school terms, you risk losing one of the biggest joys in life – spontaneity.
So my tip:
Be as organised as you need to be. No more.
Organise what you really need. But don’t turn to organisation simply to store more stuff in your space or cram more committments in your days. The key is to take away what isn’t necessary and good. There you will find your simpler life.