I’ve been reading a lot of books recently on the topics of time management and productivity. In one of these books, (The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin) I read that “it is important to harmonize your organizational style and systems with your personality.” This got me thinking about music and the way different voices in a song harmonize. When I was a teenager, I was a member of an acapella singing group. I sang second soprano. It was my job in this group to blend my voice with that of the first soprano so that neither of our voices stood out sharply. This thought led me to think about a different way to work with clients by letting them know how important it is to bring harmony into their homes.
What exactly does harmony mean?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, harmony when used as a noun is: The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect.
The different instruments in an orchestra or band or the voices in a song (alto, soprano, bass, or tenor) blend no one instrument, or voice is stronger than the other. You hear the beautiful sound, and you hear the melody but without a trained ear you don’t necessarily hear the individual instruments or voices. That is harmony
Here is another definition of harmony as it applies to values from the Collins English Dictionary:
Harmony is usually identified as a human value, referring to compatibility and accord in feelings, actions, relationships, opinions, interests, etc. It denotes a state of balance among forces influencing and even opposing one another.
How does harmony apply to organizing?
When your belongings are piled here there and everywhere, they shout at you to do something with them. Maybe you put them away anywhere out of sight. Maybe you stuff them in a cabinet, closet, or under a table. Whatever you do with them, they don’t blend with the vision of how you want your home to look, feel, and function.
These piles of things grow. In fact, they can multiply like bunnies creating disorganized feeling in your home. This is the opposite of a harmonious feeling.
Disorganization can impact many facets of a person’s life.
Disorganization is the enemy of a budget because it prevents you from easily seeing what you have in your cupboards so you spend money buying ingredients for recipes that you already have but can’t see in the pantry.
Perhaps you spend more money than you want to purchasing things you know you already have but can’t find.
Time is wasted hunting among the piles for necessary and important everyday items like your glasses, car keys, or wallet to name a few. That in turn makes you late for an appointment or a meeting.
Worrying about being late or spending too much money creates stress and anxiety.
Disorganization also impacts your relationships.
You may be reluctant to invite people inside your home because you are embarrassed or ashamed of the way it looks. If you have a partner or spouse, they may be constantly asking you to do something about the clutter.
How can you bring harmony into your home?
Now you know how important it is to organize your home how do you bring harmony into the picture.
The quote I shared at the beginning of this article states that you create harmony when the organizational systems and strategies work with your personality.
First think about how you want your home to look. What do you want to see when you walk through your front door? Take a tour of your home and continue asking yourself this question as you walk into the different rooms. What can you declutter to bring harmony to the space?
Next ask yourself what works. Are there any organizational systems that work well for you? If there are, see if you can modify them to work in other areas of your home. If there are not, consider reaching out to a professional organizer. You can find a trained professional organizer in your area by doing a search on either www.napo.net or www.challengingdisorganization.org.
Personalize Your Organizational System
The most important thing to know about creating an organizational system is that it must be personalized to you. Release any ideas you have about copying the way something looks in a magazine. Take the idea and modify it so that it functions the way you want it to according to your personality. Remember magazine pictures are just that a picture of a moment in time. They don’t account for the way a home looks when it is being lived in.
When you bring harmony into your home you can relax and be comfortable. You can find what you’re looking for easily and what you see around you pleases you (and whomever you live with). Everything works together. Nothing is standing out and shouting ‘take care of me’. An added bonus when you bring harmony into your home is that if someone drops by unexpectedly you can open the door wide and say ‘welcome!’ with a smile on your face.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.