A friend recently shared a tip with me that she read in an organizing book. I don’t even know which one it was. It was a technique for detaching emotionally from objects in order to be able to part with them. It said (I’m paraphrasing, and so was she):
This item belongs in your past. It exists in your present as well, because you still have it… but does it belong in your future?
She said that was all it took for her to get rid of all her old craft supplies. She realized she was more likely to want to buy new yarn for a project than to sift through the old bits and pieces left over from previous projects. And she felt very liberated as a result.
“Fantastic!” I said.
Was that a brand new idea for me? No.
Did I really think it was fantastic? Yes.
Was I offended that she was telling me something she thought I might not know? Or that she was not quoting ME? Not at all! I was just happy she had found the motivation to declutter, and that she wanted to share her accomplishment with me.
What are your magic little words?
It seems that everyone, when they’re ready to hear it, and when it is put just so, has a phrase, or analogy, or acronym, or technique that speaks to them. It’s like magic. And everyone’s magic words are different.
A couple of years ago everyone was talking about Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If you’re a professional organizer who read the book, you know she isn’t doing, or suggesting, anything terribly unique. Judging from the press she was getting, though, you’d have thought she had singlehandedly invented the field of professional organizing! There’s no denying that her catchphrase — Does it spark joy? — resonated with millions. The Five Stages of Marie Kondo & The Life-Changing Magic of Doing What Works for YOU remains one of my most popular blog posts ever!
I talk all the time about whether or not things (and activities, and thoughts) from your past support the life you really want to have now, and in the future. But if YOU haven’t heard me say it, and if YOU weren’t ready to hear it at the time, and if I didn’t say it in a catchy enough way to your ear, you won’t remember it.
Organizing sayings with proven magical properties
Here are some more magical organizing sayings. I have linked them to the Org4life blog posts in which I used them. You can treat is as a quiz if you like. Guess who said it first, and then click to check and see if you were right. If you find no attribution for a particular concept it is either because: 1) it’s original to me, 2) it’s something I didn’t know who said it first, or 3) it’s so commonplace that no one knows who said it first. If YOU know, though, please enlighten me, OK?
Finally, here is an organizer favorite quote:
Helpful organizing acronyms:
I have never felt the need to create my own organizing acronym or mnemonic device because Julie Morgenstern’s S.P.A.C.E. formula still works for me. I also have been known to talk about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. But if you’d like to know what some of the other acronyms are, check out this blog post by my colleague Sarah Soboleski. (Again, you can quiz yourself — how many can you think of before checking Sarah’s post?)
What are YOUR magic little words?
I really want to know…even if I wasn’t the one who said them!
P.S. Now that I’ve made my point, I’m going to ask my friend the name of the book, and who wrote it….so I can give credit where it’s due.
Copyright 2018 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
I welcome social media links directly to this page!
Please contact me for other types of reprint permission.