The Zen of Organizing

September 7, 2015


I coined the phrase 'The Zen of Organizing' over 25 years ago as a way to describe the change in energy one experiences after the organizing process is complete. If you walk into a space over which you have control like your home or office and have an immediate sense of well being, you are experiencing The Zen of Organizing. 


Every home or office is an enclosure holding energy.  This energy is alive. It longs to nurture and support you.  If entering your home or office makes you feel depleted and defeated you have let chaos rule. Have you ever experienced acupuncture?  The practitioner inserts a needle into a blocked energy passageway called a meridian. When the blockage is released the increased flow helps you to have more vitality and avoid illness. As you learn and practice the simple tenets of Zen Organizing you will be like the acupuncturist. Your space is clogged. Let it breathe and be free.


As the architect of your space and experience you are free to change what you have created.  You can undo the chaotic format that has ruled your life and instead experience The Zen of Organizing. Here are some quick steps to that goal (detailed instructions are in all of my books):


1.  Do you see stacks and piles of things like clothing, books and mail? Those are your unmade decisions.  They do more than hog literal space and block creative energy.  They make you feel like a failure every time you see them. Hunker down one pile at a time and decide the fate of these items.  Have sturdy trash bags on hand.  Get a box for recycle and one for donation.


2.  Set yourself up to win.  Before you launch into the dead wood of unmade decisions eat well, have healthy snacks on hand, get a good night's sleep, work at the time of day that best suits you and be sure you block off an adequate amount of time.  Give your projects the respect they deserve and you will be rewarded.  Remember the wise old Zen proverb: The way a man does one thing is how he does everything. Indeed.


3.  Read one of my books or call in a professional organizer to help you create the systems you need to create with the items you deem important.  I don't believe in a 'delayed response' box you check in two weeks or six months.  Put on your big boy or girl pants and make those decisions today. Now is all the time you are guaranteed.


4.  Reward yourself. I'm not talking about working for 2 hours and then indulging in a $1000 shopping spree! The Zen of Organizing should be experienced when you look at your healthy bank account and zero balance credit card statements.  Try one of these: 30 minutes with that book you have been wanting to read; a mani-pedi; a bubble bath; a yoga class or a call to your best friend for that catch up conversation that's long overdue.  Let the reward be commensurate with the effort expended.


Every time you seach for a paper and find it with ease or locate an item someone wants to borrow or find a receipt for your taxes, you are experiencing The Zen of Organizing. There is no substitue for any system that reduces stress and promotes peace, calm, order and true productivity. What are you waiting for?







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