The Epic Battle! Organizing vs. Minimalism

The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they’re organized for. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

There’s a reason why this blog is about “Changing the way we think and view the world through minimalism” instead of “Changing the way we think and view the world through organizing.”

It’s because organizing and minimalism are two distinct entities.

The former involves shuffling around everything you own to make it appear neater, allow ease of reference when finding things (i.e., categorizing), and to make your stuff fit whatever alloted space, closet, or drawer you have for it. Think The Container Store. Its aesthetic appeal of beautiful and simple storage containers to contain literally every facet of your life does it get to the root of the problem (if you even think of your mess/clutter as a problem)? Hardly.

By organizing, this act alone does not rid yourself of excess things, things which you no longer need, use, remember you even have, love, or like.

Organizing would cease to exist (along with the bountiful professional organizers out there) if you didn’t have anything in the first place!

This is where minimalism steps in, with dark sunglasses on a straight face while dramatic background music plays. He’s here and he doesn’t mess around.

I’ve always enjoyed organizing, ever since I was young. I remember as an only child (until my little brother came along when I was 15) playing by myself many days where I would arrange and rearrange all my objects, supplies, toys, and things. Yeah, it was probably because I was bored to tears (one could only watch so many episodes of Power Rangers and The Three Stooges before going a little ninja and nutty). But it was also because I enjoyed a neat space and desk.

I didn’t know back then that I wouldn’t ever use my broken clock ever again (it was broken, after all, by my karate kid moves) so I just kept it and organized around it. But now? Whole different story.

Organizing Can Cease To Exist

That’s why I choose the minimalist way. Being minimalist is simply more efficient than having to organize a bursting closet filled with clothes I didn’t even know I owned, purses or tote bags that I couldn’t ever find what I needed, and cars packed to the max like I lived in them.

When you minimize your stuff by clearing out the non-essentials, you free yourself of the time it would take you to organize everything. It just works out that way. Pretty spectacular! I’m down with that.

So why isn’t everyone a minimalist then?

Because it’s freakin’ hard. It’s not easy to say no to our over-active consumerist selves. It’s much easier to give in and buy whatever we think will make us happy or fill an emptiness we feel deep within ourselves. As a result, we have too much stuff and then only realize we’re still unhappy and still have that unsettling feeling of emptiness. Now you have all this crap (literally) to deal with and it may get kind of difficult to get out of a funk when you’re drowning in all of your junk. Get rid of your junk. Free yourself. Do it now.