The Heart of Getting Organized

Being clear on what you want in life is at the foundation of living an organized life.


When working with my clients, they typically feel the greatest benefit and success somewhere midpoint of the project, which coincides with a high level of productivity in our work together. Yet for me, the most important part of my work with them is the first, initial consultation where we are simply talking. That is when I learn their “heart” for getting organized. I learn what kind of life they lead; their activities, passions, hobbies and goals. What they dream of. We discuss their vision for the space; how they would like the space to serve them. We talk long and short term. We even set clear action items for what needs to be done and in what order. That critical first step of being clear on what you want in life and how your space must serve you is what I call Heart and is at the foundation of living a life in order. Clutter free.

Clarity – Teton Mountains

It’s simple, really. Clutter is mostly postponed decisions. Either you don’t have a proper way to store it, or more likely, your unorganized because you have too much stuff (or action items, or relationships, or food.. wherever your clutter is). Decisions are difficult to make if you don’t have clarity around what you want. So you keep the ski gear, the swim gear, the art supplies, the vast multi-media music collection, the hiking gear, the running gear, the climbing gear, the list continues – or the never-ending very long To Do list – because you aren’t taking some time to be clear on your life vision.

While we work together, I continue to remind my client of their vision for the space, a room, a closet, their life. It keeps them on course until midpoint, when they have clarity and no longer need reminders.  Indeed, they will state the intentions or goals, or remind me! The means meets the end.

I often wish I had the luxury to spend more time on this stage with the client, though sometimes I have the luxury of a client who came to me at the recommendation of their executive coach, life coach or a therapist; in which case, they are already working on their intentions and vision. Here’s a little help on setting intentions from one of my respected small business owner peers, Kelsey Lowitz, a Whole Life Coach.

There are many resources for setting goals for your life. Typically you set them in categories, such as Financial, Work/Career, Spiritual, Relationships, Health, Mental, Home and Environment. I believe having some goals or even a simple vision or mission statement for your life is important for every human animal.

Now, if one of those life goals is to get organized, here’s how to create a vision and intentions around that goal.

The Visioning Walk-through.

To create your vision for an organized and tidy space, take a walk through of the space to be organized. If you are doing this in partnership with others in the household, do it together. Everyone buys in. A family affair. Have fun with it and don’t get into the weeds.

Identify each room, closet or large space (foyer, back entry, mud room, etc.) and make notes or record them. (The document below is a good tool)

For each space:

  • Note how you need that room or area to serve you. Not specifically, but generally. Larger rooms often need to have zones.

For example:

Kitchen                                Food/Meals Prep, Craft Zone for kids

Kids Room                         Sleeping/Rejuvenating, Dressing/preparing for the day.  Quiet play zone

Master Bedroom              Sleeping/Rejuvenating, Dressing/preparing for the day. Office zone for spouse workstation

For closets and open areas, the location and the traffic flow needs to be considered. Have a conversation about it. The main entry points are not the place to store archive paperwork or lesser used items.


  • Consider how you use the room. What works and what doesn’t in the space. Is there anything you really love or dislike about the space? An inactive exercise machine in the bedroom may fit but does it work for a space meant for resting, rejuvenating and grooming? Don’t get too detailed or specific. Just notice. Discuss. Question.


  • Look up high in the closets, into hidden corners, under things. Consider what has become inactive in the space that may belong somewhere else or gone. Be curious. Observe.


  • Now see in that space what you want it to look like. What it feels like. How you feel when you are in it. Visioning is important – see it. Say it out loud. Adjectives are great here. Productive. Peaceful. Calm. Creative. Happy. Content. Soothed. Give it a color. And minimize limiting thoughts, like “that will be so hard” or “that’s too expensive”. See it. Believe.


That’s it.

It’s a simple exercise and is quick or long depending on the size of your cluttered space. Now you have a vision for each room and can begin to build a plan for getting organized. In other words, now that your heart is clear, your mind and body will follow and get the work done!

Being clear on what you want is the foundation of an organized life. It’s easy to make clutter decisions with clarity.

Purpose(s) Vision – Goals for Space Notes
Purpose(s) Vision – Goals for Space Notes
Purpose(s) Vision – Goals for Space Notes

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