Organize, Organize, Organize

I get tired of minimalists who tell me to stop organizing and just keep getting rid of my stuff. They act as if we should have such a small amount of stuff that we should never have to organize anything. That’s just dumb. No matter how little you have, organization is key in keeping a simple home.

I Used To Have A Cluttered Home

Why? Not because I had too much stuff, but because the stuff I did have was unorganized. I was a bit of a slob.

Part of my simple-living journey has been learning how to keep things organized. Organization creates more space. Space is an essential part of minimalism.

Still, every day I see posts from minimalists claiming we don’t need to organize our stuff, but rather get rid of more to it. I call BS on that. I already live with less than most. As much as I love minimalist blogs and their overarching message, I think this idea that we need to stop organizing is just dumb.

The term minimalism is borrowed from art and music. In art, minimalism is referred to as:

a trend in sculpture and painting that arose in the 1950s and used simple, typically massive, forms.

In music, the term minimalism is defined as:

an avant-garde movement in music characterized by the repetition of very short phrases that change gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.

As a musician, I can tell you that minimalist music needs to be very organized. You don’t just start playing random notes. 

Simple Does Not Mean Unorganized

I don’t care how little you have, if you’re truly a minimalist, you’ll still organize what you do have.

Consider minimalism in architecture: it consists of simple structures with clean lines. Does that sound unorganized? No. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. Minimalism is very organized. Minimalist design is simple and clean.

If you’re working on living with less, it’s still okay to organize, organize, organize. I’m not saying you shouldn’t critically consider what to keep and what to let go. I’m just saying that organize is not a dirty word.

My Home Is Neat Because It’s Organized

  • I have very few clothes, but what clothes I have are organized. 
  • I have very few dishes, but what dishes I have are organized.
  • I have very few linens, but what linens I have are organized.
  • I have very few books, but what books I have are organized.
  • I have very few tools, but what tools I have are organized.

I think you get the point:

Being a minimalist does not mean you can’t organize your belongings. Don’t believe everything you hear. When someone tells you to get rid of your stuff instead of organizing it, question them. If you’ve already pared things down to what you need and what makes you happy, its okay to organize what you have left.

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James Ewen
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