< The Organizing Basics - A Series

Oct 19

If you enjoy searching around on pinterest, watching IG reels or scrolling organizing videos on TikTok, you’ve seen the endless organizing how-to videos. Or the recent trend in decanting videos…with music or with asmr sounds. The pantry refresh videos. All the products being unboxed, cleaned, filled and labeled. Not to say watching these aren’t occasionally satisfying or fun. But these videos aren’t really teaching you the skills of organizing. Or how to maintain these beautiful afters.

If I may, the proverbial gloves are coming off for a minute…we need to get to the root of organizing basics and when systems like that will or won’t work for you. Because those types of scenarios don’t work for everyone.

Seeing spaces like this could cause you to feel that is the way it SHOULD be done. Or you feel guilty you haven’t created that over the top organized snack drawer for your kids.

Buying product from anywhere – Amazon, Container Store or Target – will not completely solve your organizing issues! There’s a phase in organizing when we get to that place…but to get there successfully, we have to find out how you got here in the first place.

Ok, gloves are back on. lol!

Besides all of that, I’ve wanted to share a series of Organizing Basics for a while. To satisfy those who email or DM asking how to get started, where to start, what to do if their spouse or children are unraveling their hard work to keep the house organized, ask why they can’t seem to get on top of the issue and more. Or if you happened to land here during a google search on how to get started.

So, here we are! Day one of this series!

If you’d like to join me on social, you can see me sharing highlights from these posts in video.

Truly getting organized requires us first looking at the whole picture.

I know this isn’t the fun part of getting organized, but it’s the most critical piece. If we don’t know what’s happening or how you got here, how will we know how to fix it??

As someone you’re hiring to help you resolve an organizing issue, I could simply come in, get rid of stuff and set up a system that works well for me. Or one I think is pretty. But what if that system doesn’t work for you and your habits? What if it’s too complicated for you to maintain? What if you actually feel better and more organized when your papers are not hidden?…when they are in a pile on your desk where you can easily get to them and that makes you happy?

There’s internal and external factors we need to figure out before we ever get started.

When you’re drowning in stuff or there’s a room full of clutter, most of us reach the breaking point and want to tear everything apart or throw it all away. Or you want to hide it in a drawer or shove it in a closet and close the door. It’s really hard to take a deep breath, step back and consider all the factors that got us here. It’s too easy to run to the closest organizing department to purchase bins or pretty systems we think will solve the issue.

Wrong. That only masks the symptoms.

We can’t fix something until we know what’s broken!

We have to get to the root of what’s happening before we get started with decluttering and ultimately install a system that will work best for you. 

Getting organized successfully includes the element of maintenance. That space isn’t going to sit pretty like that for very long. You’re going to use it, love it, live in it. Which means it’s going to get messed up and need a touch up or maintenance from time to time. NORMAL!

The next topic in this series will cover the main types of disorganization. But until we meet again, here’s some questions you can ask yourself to begin considering whether the issues are stemming from inside or outside factors:

Are you struggling with time management issues?

Do you feel the urge to overbuy and you now have too much stuff? Is retail therapy your coping mechanism?

Did you grow up in a home that was disorganized all the time? Or a home that was too orderly?

Has it been years since you decluttered and you’ve forgotten how spacious that closet really is? The closet is playing tricks on you and you’re forgetting just how much of this stuff you don’t wear anymore?

Is it that you don’t know how to get started and it snowballed over many years to where you are now?

Are there other people involved? A spouse, children and their stuff, someone you live with who is not inclined to be tidy and organized?

Did you just move and this is situational?

Do you hear that little voice in your head telling you to put the dishes in the dishwasher before going to bed…but you ignore the voice and reassure yourself you’ll get it done tomorrow? Or that the next person who comes along will do it? Same with that pile of items at the foot of the stairs? Has this type of behavior become a habit for you?

Is it just a matter of not knowing how to solve a challenging storage issue?

Do you want to be organized but aren’t interested or you’re lazy? But you do feel the urge to want to be organized?

Warning: I’m going to be pretty raw and real in this series so that last question – I get it. Sometimes we’re just lazy and don’t want to do something. Let’s be honest, you don’t have to. And there are times you should give yourself a break or not hold the line so tight, absolutely. But you sure will feel better living in a space that’s organized and tidy…one you can feel proud of and one where the items you spent hard earned money on aren’t just taken for granted.

Again, we can’t fix something until we know what’s broken. Period. So logical, but so true in most everything in life. We can’t fix or change anything until we know what the heck is going on to cause it.

This series is all about taking the mask off – no masking allowed! We aren’t simply covering up the symptoms – we are going to get to the root of what’s going on and learn how to get organized AND STAY ORGANIZED. It’s a skill everyone can learn.

Back soon with more!



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  1. Isaida Tijerina says:

    Hi Sam! I’ve enjoyed following your blog for years. Your before and after’s are always beautiful and inspiring. I dream of a tidy home but my issue is with the rest of the family. My husband and 4 children are not on board. I’m the one who works outside the home and my husband does the homeschooling. I have tried countless times to develop systems and duties for keeping up but nothing seems to work. I feel defeated to say the least. I look forward to your series and welcome any suggestions in the meantime. Continued blessings to you and your loved ones.

    Ocala, Florida

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Isaida!

      Thank you for so much for the comment! I’d love to help answer this or provide some solutions for you! Hang tight…series is unfolding each week! Excited to share more…


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