Defining what “organized” looks like for YOU


When I was a teenager, my dad required me to cut the edges of his green velvet, almost-weedless lawn on Saturday mornings before I was allowed to hang with friends or read a book or even go to my summer job. Rousted from my vacation slumbers by 8 or 9 a.m., I cursed the long-handled, human-powered wobbly wheeled edge clipper down the front path, along the front sidewalk and around endless flower beds. Snip, snip, sn-iii-p, S N I P! I slogged through the Massachusetts heat and humidity, squeezing the handle of the dratted clippers until my hand ached, hating this task even more than I did the week before.

In fact, I hated gardening in all its many torturous permutations: planting, prepping the soil, raking leaves, deadheading spent blooms. Ugh, the most wretched activity ever.

Twelve years later, I shocked myself by planting a vegetable and flower garden in the back yard of my own home. What changed? My housemate and I gardened together, and we defined what was important. Our lawn was not velvety smooth or weed free, the veggie patch was a hodgepodge of stuff that mostly grew on its own and the lawn edges were not manicured. I loved it!

Turned out, gardening is fun and rewarding if I define what gardening looks like.

Last weekend, I had gardening fun when I built my first rock wall in the dry heat of Colorado. It took me most of Sunday. I admit it’s a little funky—the rocks are laid firmly but not precisely—and the transplanted echinacea looks sad and may die (and be replaced next weekend), but I’m deeply satisfied with my effort.

Gardening fun: my first rock wall!

And that can be true of organizing for you! (You knew I was gonna get there, didn’t you?) Being organized can be fun and rewarding if you define what being organized looks like. Maybe it means you don’t care how neatly the towels are folded or how many books are stacked next to your bed, but you have a habitual spot for your cell phone and car keys and a system for paying your bills on time. If that’s how you define being organized, then have at it!

Next week, I’ll blog about doing tasks with a friend or “body double” to help stay focused and reach your goal.

About Space Editing

Space Editing is an insured and bonded organizing business in Boulder, Colorado. Interested in learning more about how to keep your spaces decluttered? Contact us today by calling 303.817.4424 or emailing