2. ...would minimalism work?

Ilona T

2 min read

Track To Tidy Insights 2/6
In this series of blog posts I take you through the thought process that lead me to the game Track To Tidy. All these principles are common sense and were familiar to me already but I didn't really internalize them until going through this track of thoughts. I hope my insights will help you find a solution to your issues with clutter, whether it's this game of mine or a different one you develop for yourself.

Part 1. When schedules and checklists won't work for you...

So, after spending a couple of years trying different methods for getting organized, I found minimalism. Getting rid of all the extra stuff that wasn't absolutely essential or didn't spark joy were to be tossed away. This sounded wonderful! After having one major purge, I would never have to deal with clutter and chaos again. Just one huge effort and I could spend the rest of my days in a spaceous, serene house sipping green tea and watching my kids play in harmony - no need to organize ever again!

With this end state in mind I tossed and purged and sold and donated and recycled A LOT of our stuff. It was really freeing and I highly recommend it to everyone! In two years I went through our house twice and got rid of A TON of clutter.

BUT... sigh

With three kids and four seasons, a couple of crafty hobbies and a hubby who loves collecting cds, books, guitars(!), and game consoles, combined with an old house with limited storage space, you just can't get so minimalistic that you'd never have chaos again... Actually the chaos didn't go anywhere!

Our house was still covered with piles of stuff that was used every day, whereas the attic and other storage spaces were just less stuffed.

Now I had two failed approaches and I had lost any hope of ever having even a remotely organized home. I felt like I was doomed to live in chaos for the rest of my life and there was nothing I could do to about it. I felt like a failure.

I remember hearing a decluttering guru (can't remember which one) say that decluttering (or having/getting a tidy home) is a continuous, on-going process not a one-time project. When I heard it, I had just begun my purge to minimalism and I didn't want to believe it.

After having tossed everything we didn't need and still living in chaos, I had to agree: for me, one-time projects didn't work. But neither did daily or weekly organizing routines and checklists. I knew I needed a process but couldn't figure out what it was!

Taming the mess is not a project but a process!
Taming the mess is not a project but a process!