Organization Is Not Minimalism


Walking through any home improvement store or furniture outlet, you will always find a very large section devoted to “home organization.” It sounds wonderful. Pick up a plastic tote to store toys the kids don’t use or outgrew (maybe get two) and what about the eight compartment shelf you need to buy with some square boxes for to actually hold things out of view in the living room?

Totes of all sizes, colors and materials, plastic boxes to compartmentalize and sort knick-knacks and the junk drawer. Closet organizer systems that “easily install” to make room for even more clothes. Or perhaps some of the “folding hangers” that allow you to hang six shirts on one?

But organization isn’t minimalism.

Watching any of the popular “hoarder” type shows and you will always find a psychologist and an “organization expert” helping with the cleanup. The organization expert, really, is there as a fall-back when the psychologist can’t break the subject of the episode of their habit to keep things. If you can’t let things go, at least organize it, right?

I have always considered myself an “organization expert.” My VHS collection was expertly displayed on rows of shelves the perfect size, including those pesky Disney clamshells. I purchased several Billy Bookcases from Ikea where I could adjust the shelves just right to fit my VHS replacement DVDs in nice rows, complete with additional shelves to take full advantage of the space.  I could now fit more “stuff” in less space.

But it was still more stuff.

As I make a journey towards minimalism, or as close as I can to it, I look around and I still see too much stuff. I don’t know if I can ever get to a magic number of 100 possessions – or even 50 – but it is indeed getting harder and harder to make the decision to let things go.
My DVDs and Blu-rays are among the last “collections” I have. I had downsized them a year before, and the few remaining are in the trunk of my car as I debate taking them to a donation place, or trying to sell them online for a couple of dollars.

The final collection – is going to be a tough one..