Minimalism and Organization: An Oxymoron?

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Some say that if you minimize enough, then organization is not necessary.  I think that organization products become less necessary, but that organization makes sense for all that value efficiency.  Organization is really layout, where to place things.

Though not all personalities value efficiency, efficiency can help all.  How efficient you want or require depends on you.

I often think about how to efficiently organize.  Over the years, I’ve decided that it is indeed more efficient in almost all cases to make things easier to put back than to take out (because the putting back is the part we slack off on more than the taking out).  If we downsize enough, nothing should be too hard to get out anyway.  With a lot of bakeware or pens, for instance, finding or pulling something out can be cumbersome.  So that brought me to my first rule of organization:

1. Downsize, so that things are easy to pull out and so that you need few organizers.


Beyond that, keeping things all together in one area makes cleaning very simple because you can pile things in your hand and head to one area to disperse.  If storage locations are spread out, putting things away and taking things out is cumbersome.

2. Keep things in one area, whenever possible.  Putting things away easily is the goal.  Two to three drawers per room is the ideal.


Keeping things in one area is easier if you’re a minimalist, because one drawer can hold a lot greater percentage of your possessions.

I have followed these two rules for the past few years, and I question, especially where the kitchen is concerned, where I can improve.  Minimalism for me serves efficiency because I’m an INTJ:  So function above all else. Eco-friendliness has to serve efficiency, which in many cases, it does.

Minimizing more, especially where furniture is concerned, helps to minimize cleaning time and allows you to fit eventually more comfortably in a smaller space.  Minimizing more where oddball thing are concerned — papers, light bulbs, batteries, stamps, gift wrap, art supplies — allows us to fit everything in 2-3 drawers, instead of seven.

3. Minimize furniture and rarely used items.


Recently, I’ve stopped using stamps and letters.  I mailed out one or two letters this year, out of necessity.   Though we may not be able to cut some things out altogether, where we can cut back on using materials should always be considered. I also stopped gift wrapping.  This is not practical for more social families or for families with children, but I’d rather buy bags for items or, if they’re for an adult, just give items straight.   Buying bags is more expensive to do, but it eliminates a good portion of my oddball drawer — a portion that I was reaching for only three times a year — so it made sense for me and my priorities.

I am on the lookout for new ways to be more efficient or on the lookout for quality because I enjoy this, but minimalism does not have to be this way for you.  In the same way of credit cards, we are to use minimalism, but if we become indebted or go too far with it, we can begin to serve it.

Finding balance and being mindful are tied to minimalism very closely, and there is a balance to our possessions.  Only you know the personalities that live in your house and what balance and joy is.  Use this inside information to craft the life of your dreams.

2 thoughts on “Minimalism and Organization: An Oxymoron?

  1. Melody, Dollar Tree has a great selection of gift bags and all for only a dollar! The quality is great too. But, that’s another shopping trip…

  2. Trader Joes has assorted colorful cloth shopping bags which you could use for gift giving. They are $1. The recipient can reuse it over and over, and it is environmentally friendly. Other stores may have cloth or nylon shopping b ax gs for low prices too.

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