I work with clients in a variety of ways. Some people I see every week, while others hire me for a “one and done” project. Many clients call me for one situation, and then reach back out to me periodically, either to “refresh” the original system, or to address a new issue (e.g. a new baby, the need to change a layout, a relocation etc.) I love looping back with clients and seeing the impact getting organized has had on their lives. Recently, I witnessed a “victory” moment that reminded me why I love this profession.

I was working with a client to “reset” a space we had designed the previous year. Things had been working well, but the chaos of life and an illness had caused her to fall a bit behind. Because we had established an efficient system, all she needed was a couple of hours of extra arms and legs to whip things back into shape.

At one point, we were sorting through a bin that had become a catchall for various items: toys, hairbands, change, some papers, loyalty cards, singleton socks… all the normal things. We were going through the process of grouping items into categories so we could carry them back to their proper homes.

At one point, my client picked up a small electronic part, smiled and said, “I know just where this goes!” She hopped up and confidently walked over to her desk, opened an overhead cabinet, pulled down a plastic container and said, “See… here is the label!” She tucked the item inside the box and came triumphantly back to the table.

“Before working on getting organized, I would have just stashed this in a drawer,” she said. “I probably would have forgotten where I had put it, and that would have been a problem because these are hard to get. I can’t tell you have good it feels to be able to look at something and to know exactly where it is supposed to go.”

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When I was a mother with young children, fretting about the mess in my playroom, another mom said, “Having toys around isn’t my problem, it is when I feel like I can’t put them away.” I’ve always remembered that. Simply knowing that all of your possessions have a designated place to live provides a measure of serenity in a chaotic world.

Life is full of stuff, and at any given point, some of that stuff will be out in plain sight. After all, you are living there! Expecting your spaces to be continually spotless is both unrealistic and unnecessary. However, being organized means you are only one step away from a clutter-free space. It puts you in control of the things you own, instead of the other way around.

Have you experienced freedom through organization? Can you relate to the joy of being able to put something in the perfect spot?