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Perfect is SO 1999…

I, like many of my fellow bloggers, struggle with organization. Working at Rubbermaid, it has always been both encouraging, but sometimes depressing, that I just can't keep my home orderly. Rubbermaid makes so many great products, but they are merely tools to get you there…You still have to actually do it yourself. (shocking, right? 🙂

After working here for a number of years, I have a lot of cool products, giving me many great opportunities for organization, yet I have never achieved the mecca of how I thought our home should look and function. My husband, Jon, and I had pretty much given up the idea of us ever having that "perfect" and organized home.

 Enter Lorie Marrero and her book, Clutter Diet

As a professional organizer, our company had her come in to give a presentation. It was revolutionary! She said things like:
 Organization is not an achievable state, its a process. Much like body issues, our media gives us an unrealistic idea of what our home should look like. People aren't born that way. Not a one size fits all approach. and… It's not about being perfect.

You have to work at it. She gave real-world tips and solutions that approach the idea of clutter control like weight control. Its a daily decision to stay organized and its something that must be prioritized. You can't just clean your house once a week (or month!), put everything "away" and it stay that way. It has to be a system that you and your household invest in doing.. every day. LIke eating right and exercising, its not a once a week fix. After hearing all this, instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel inspired. I feel like I have a deeper understanding of what hasn't worked in the past and why. 

My organization plan doesn't have to be perfect, it just had to work for me and my life. 


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28 Responses to Perfect is SO 1999…

  1. Sam Aron December 18, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Glad to hear it, Doug… You and your belly keep at it!

  2. Sam Aron December 18, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Ha! Yeah, you better ask Santa for a copy of The Clutter Diet! I’m glad to hear Rubbermaid’s Easy Find Lids system has cleaned up one cabinet in your kitchen.. that is a start! You should move on to your junk drawer.. I will be doing a post about that soon :). I had it cleaned out.. and now its crazy again! I hear you about solutions that are not too time-consuming. Everyone’s organization systems are different, remember do whatever works best for you and you’ll get there, Gail!

  3. Sam Aron December 18, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    Hmm… Flylady, I’ve heard of her! I need to revisit her site and brush up on some tips. Remember, Amy, YOU are the magic… products can only help you in your quest :).

  4. Sam Aron December 18, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    You’re not alone! I have to say though, Kirstin, you are in a attractive spot: going from a smaller place to a larger space! But you’re right, its all in the plan. Getting your organization organized is key, especially if you are planning for setting up a new home. A good foundation of organization is so important for a new home. You get to start from scratch! Does anyone have any good tips for Kirstin as she sets up her new home??

  5. Sam Aron December 18, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    Hooray for your love affair with organization! Mine is more a love/hate relationship 🙂 My husband is all FOR our org plan.. however, he holds me to a strict deal that if I’m not following the plan (and leaving stuff everywhere), he isn’t compelled to do it either.

  6. Sam Aron December 18, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Twins! Becky, that’s so exciting! Congratulations 🙂
    Fully commit! Let me know if you need some help choosing and idea or system. I hear with parenthood comes toys and little clothes galore! My older sister, who has 6, has a very strict bin system, where each child has a specific place to put their toys (and is responsible for putting them there!).. If only I could abide by a rule like that 🙂

  7. Sam Aron December 18, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    Hmm.. tough one, angelfood, I would say, probably my Premier food storage containers. With their Easy Fid Lids org system, they all fit neatly into one large drawer in my kitchen. I LOVE to eat, so that would probably be my favorite…

  8. Sam Aron December 16, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    Hahaha.. good luck with that, Jonathan! Maybe you need a dictaphone to organize your thoughts.. though Rubbermaid organizes LOTS of stuff, we have yet to venture into the realm of thought organization. Just remember, all of your other possessions, like your tools, need to be in a specific place too. If you can’t find something, what’s the use in having it?

  9. Sam Aron December 16, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    NYC! How exciting! I, like you, have a hard time letting go of stuff sometimes too.. you just have to remember that your daily peace of mind is no match for old papers from highschool or clothes you don’t absolutely LOVE. Clutter results in all that random stuff. Purging is therapeutic (and a bit counter-intuitive in our culture :). Good luck in the Big Apple.. and remember.. a secret from a friend of mine that lives in NYC.. build up! Those apartments in New York are tiny, but often really tall. Don’t forget about vertical space when you are organizing your new place!

  10. Doug Wilson December 11, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

    Interesting book. My belly could use it. If it weren’t for you, my tupper….I mean, plastic storage containers by rubbermade, wouldn’t be orgainzing my life the way they are.

  11. Gail Mathews December 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Wow! I’m glad to know that “organization is not an achievable state”!! Does that mean that I get to stop trying?? My husband would not agree, but it does help to think of it as a process. Maybe one day I’ll get there. That book sounds like a good one for my Christmas list. The Rubbermaid food storage containers have helped one cabinet in my kitchen – keeping the tops fastened to the bottoms is a GREAT idea, and it is an easy to keep up with fix. I find that organization only works for me if the solution is not too time consuming to keep doing. BTW, you still did not tell me who the House Fairy is, and where can I get one?

  12. Amy K December 8, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    That book sounds like it would be a great inspiration! I eye the Rubbermaid products in the store and wonder about which one “magically” will make organization so much better/easier. BTW, the House Fairy and CHAOS (can’t have anyone over syndrome) are products of Flylady – maybe also from others but that is where I’ve seen it.

  13. Sam Aron December 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Heck yeah! Let me know if you see anything you have any questions about. Oh, and stay tuned, Chris, because I’ll be doing another post about DIY-ing your organization that you might interest you… since you are handy and have a knack for building things.

  14. Sam Aron December 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Rebecca, Glad to know they are teaching that in school! Time is at such a premium these days, I’m sure you know being in grad school. “Good enough” def seems so much more attainable!

  15. Kirstin V. December 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    Moving from a two bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroom house has led me sleepless some nights planning out each room and how best to approach it. It is so daunting I feel we get nothing done as I’m just crippled by the big picture. We just started this weekend to organize our organization if that makes sense? Sam, I think of you and your Rubbermaid often in the aisles of Home Depot just wondering how they can help. We will get there and thanks for the words of wisdom and to let me know that I’m not in uncharted territory.

  16. Chris Albrecht December 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    I love organization – it makes me happy! If only I could get my husband on board. My life runs much more smoothly when organized. I really appreciate what you said about organization being a process rather than a state. So true, so true.

  17. Sam Aron December 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    No, no, THANK YOU for being all about organization! It really helps having some experts around to help get the rest of us in better “shape”.

  18. Sam Aron December 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    Definitely check out Clutter Diet! Love your Saturday morning routine… seems like a good time to pick up, then the rest of your weekend is more relaxed. Btw, what/who is the House Fairy?

  19. Becky S December 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    I could use some cool Rubbermaid organizational products. I eye them in the store, but I haven’t fully committed to this. With a messy nearly-3-year-old and twins on the way, I could use some help!!

  20. angelfood December 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    If you had only one organizational tool/product, what would it be?

  21. Jonathan Haywood December 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    I have a huge organizational impairment. I can keep my tools organized, because i need to know where they are at all times for quick access. However, it ends there. I like how you present having it become a part of your mindset at all times. Now, all I need to do is organize my thoughts about organization… this could really be tricky

  22. Caty December 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    I am SO there!
    My husband and I recently moved to NYC and organization and de-cluttering has been quite a challenge. I, the hoarder, have a hard time letting go of certain things while Juan is very matter-of-fact…this move has been especially challenging and I am realizing that organization is like a diet, where it takes DAILY and CONSCIOUS effort to keep organized.
    I might just pick up a copy of this book!

  23. Sam Aron December 7, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Sara, I hear you about the spiral! 🙂 Plan + Execution= Success
    (I’m working on the organization aspect… then I’ll move on to weight and money!)

  24. Chris H. December 7, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    Just started perusing the RubberMaid catalog to try to jumpstart this organization kick. Thanks.

  25. Rebecca K. December 7, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    So true… it IS so 1999! We even talk about that concept in grad school–“good enough” is the new perfect.

  26. Lorie Marrero December 7, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Sam, I am so happy to hear your feedback on the book and the presentation! You’ve just put a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day! I really appreciate it. The messages you wrote about are things I am very passionate about getting out there to the world. Thank you! – Lorie Marrero

  27. Emily December 7, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    I have been looking for inspiration myself to help simplify and rid my life of clutter. I will certainly check out your recommendation on the Clutter Diet . . . With three small children I certainly need all of the help and inspiration I can get! We have put into place a type of Saturday Morning Routine of picking up and cleaning (and of course the House Fairy works wonders too. . .) My life went from easy going to complete CHAOS overnite and it is good to hear your take on organization!

  28. sara faris December 7, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    that’s a great take on organization!…it’s true…getting your house organized, losing weight, saving money…it’s all about having a plan and keeping it in the back of your head at all times…not just when you schedule it!
    the universe CLEARLY tends towards chaos, so, without a plan, my weight, my finances, and the organization of my house SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL!

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