As I reflected on a conversation with one of our dinner guests a while back, I came to an odd conclusion that I am very lazy.
During prepping for the dinner, my guest asked to get a dish for her shrimp cocktail sauce that she brought. I pointed over to our overhead cabinets where I keep all my plates and bowls. She opened the cupboard, stared blankly, and said “are you kidding?” Immediately, I thought something horrible was wrong and that she was disgusted at something she saw. When I asked what was wrong, she told me that I was ridiculously organized.
She immediately started opening all my cupboards and looking at all the contents. What she found was a cupboard full of all white plates, bowls and platters neatly stacked by size; a drawer of perfectly placed chef knifes in order of size, a cupboard shelf with skillfully placed Rubbermaid containers with the lids intact, and a shelf of baking condiments (flour, sugar), neatly organized in labeled containers. To her this was out-of-control OCD behavior and I was crazy. To me, it is a way to keep my sanity.
It was then that I started thinking and analyzing why I feel the need to keep the house so organized. Then it came to me – I’m lazy.
As I was thinking about the realization of how lazy I am, I concluded that having an unorganized house takes a lot more energy and causes great over-stimulation of the brain. For me to look for a storage container to put that left over macaroni and cheese in and then try to find the matching lid that goes with it is completely exhausting. I would rather just throw out the leftovers, than to put myself through that agony.
My brain needs to have a calming visual so that it doesn’t need to work as hard to comprehend and doesn’t become over stimulated. For example, opening up a linen closet and seeing all the same towels in the same color, brings a sense of relaxation and calmness.
In my home, I take the approach that everything should have a home of its own and nothing belongs if it isn’t functional or adds value to my time and energy. I’m also not a believer in having stuff just to have stuff – that is exhausting in itself. To maintain an organized home, things need to be simple, so it’s important to recognize what items are really necessary. This is one of the first things I talk about to clients when they want a refresh their home.
To maintain an organized home – it needs to be coordinated. You need to be able to challenge yourself and others when it comes to staying simple and coordinated. Staying simple is harder than you would think, but the payoff is great. This is especially true when it comes to receiving gifts from friends and family at holiday time. This is the time of the year that you are most likely to receive things you don’t need.
Over the next several weeks, I am going to do a blog series of “The Coordinated Home”, where I will share my tips and tricks for the Kitchen, Bathroom, Livingroom, and Laundry room. This won’t be as much of how to utilize organization units to keep things neat, but rather a challenge of needing the things we all have. I hope you can find something useful to adopt in your own home so that you can start feeling more relaxed – and maybe even more lazy.