Getting Your House Organised Is An Expression Of Healthy Self-love And High Self-Esteem
The Zen Organiser,
New York Times best-selling author of One Year to an Organized Life
Having an organised home is not just about being more productive or less stressed. It also means getting to a place of peace and serenity, and the design of a room plays an important role in the Zen organising system of principles.
We explored this topic together with Regina Leeds, professional organiser and New York Times best-selling author, who believes that it’s never too early or too late to get organised – it’s just a skill and nothing more.
According to her, the common denominator of people looking for the services of a professional organiser is transition, which may take different forms: getting a new job, having a baby on the way, moving into a new home or going back to school to open the door to a new career. In either case, people need to be better organised in order to handle the demands of the transition.
This is, of course, her perspective as an organiser. But people just want a home that functions. ‘We all have upsets in our lives. The ideal situation is to face upsets, turmoil and challenges from a place of serenity’, she says.
In organising people’s homes, Regina uses the principles of Feng Shui: ‘Many years ago I spent close to a year shadowing a Feng Shui master. I wanted to have on the job training so I could help my clients when appropriate. It helps me read the environment and understand the psychological issues at play’, she explains.
According to Feng Shui principles, it isn’t so much the style of the furniture that matters but the placement and number of pieces. Most people sit with their backs to the door, but one can feel more powerful if you face the entrance. The second most common faux pas would be to have your bed in line with the entry. You want to be able to look up and see who’s entering the bedroom but you don’t want to be in line with the entry door.
Regina also uses something she likes to call ‘The Magic Formula’: Eliminate, Categorise and Organise. The client must make the decisions about what stays and what goes, and after that they usually leave then return for the big reveal.
She believes that the engine that runs the organising train is decision making. It’s a skill many lack, but over time, with practice, people develop that muscle and realise that the one who makes the decisions wields the power.
‘People are very often afraid they won’t be able to maintain what I created for them. I tell them life is about maintenance. All they are doing is a different kind of maintenance. Whether you walk into your bedroom and throw your clothes on a chair or rehang them, the amount of time is the same. Don’t, in other words, be daunted by the word maintenance’, Regina notes.
At the end of the day, all organising is the same; what changes are the items in your hands. If you can organise a file cabinet, you can organise your closet. And when you control your environment, you will have mastered a skill you can apply to school or work assignments, emergencies or planning a vacation.
The thing to remember is that in the lingo of Zen Organising, if you ‘tidy up’, you are creating a pretty picture, but if you get Zen Organised, everything has a designated spot. If you see a little chaos, just take the time to restore order.
But don’t worry too much about what distresses you in your environment. You created it so you are free to create something else in its place. Getting organised is an expression of healthy self-love and high self-esteem; it isn’t a club people can use to shame themselves or others.
‘You are your environment. We all have a choice. We can live in calm, peace-filled environments that nurture us, or we can choose to live in chaos and be thwarted in our best efforts at every turn’, she concludes.