What Does Gardening Teach Us About Getting Organized?

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As I was installing some new plants for a client yesterday I started thinking about what working in the garden can teach us about getting organized, and was amazed at how many similarities I came up with.  So this week I bring you my thoughts on this topic.

The primary idea that kept ringing through my brain is that gardening shows us how removing the old makes way for the new.  Most gardeners are out in their yards as soon as the weather allows, removing old debris, cutting down old seed heads, raking up any leaves – clearing the way for new growth.  I encourage all my clients to think of getting organized in this fashion.  We’re not throwing away your past – we’re making space to allow all the wonderful things that your future holds to come into your life.

I had something a little mind blowing happen to me earlier this year along this line.  In January I attended a class through my local community college continuing education program about choosing the most flattering color clothing for your own personal coloring.  After taking this class I realized that although I loved the brightly-colored clothes, very little in my closet was actually flattering color-wise for me.  I felt discouraged by this at first, especially since it wasn’t like I had the cash to just get rid of everything and start over.

However, I knew that if I at least started getting rid of some of my clothes, there would be more room for my new wonderful wardrobe.  I got rid of about half of my clothes that day, with the promise to myself that I would continue to get rid of the unflattering colors as new clothes came into my life.  

About two weeks later I had a very strong inclination to go shopping at one of our local consignment stores.  Lo and behold in the 80% off section I found three beautiful sweaters – all in perfect colors for me, and in my size – and purchased all three of them for under $4!!  I decided to ride my luck and visited two other consignment stores – I ended up with more than 10 other items that were perfect color and size for less than $40.  And I have continued to find killer deals on clothes, in the perfect colors, as I’ve continued to keep that promise of getting rid of the old as the new comes in.  I’m happy to say that very little in my wardrobe is left in the unflattering category!

The lesson I learned: When you make room for the new, the universe will conjure up a perfect way to bring you what you seek as long as you continue to be open.

I continued to think about what gardening can teach us about getting organized and came up with these other ideas:

Change can be safe.  Plants do it all the time.  We all go through cycles.  Plants that adapt and overcome are the ones that stick around – as do humans!

A lovely garden doesn’t happen overnight – just as getting organized is a process.  Lasting results don’t happen overnight either.  It took you some time to get to this level of disorganization, it will take some time to get back to organized.

Regular loving care makes a big difference.  Making time for your organizational maintenance is essential.

You’re probably going to get at least a little dirty in the process!

Taking a step back and admiring your accomplishments is really satisfying.  Be sure to reward yourself during the organizing process, whether that’s acknowledging how far you’ve come or taking yourself out for a nice meal or activity.

When the going gets tough, drink some water!

Respect yourself – if it’s too hot outside to be working in the garden, take a break.  If you’re too tired when organizing, it’s ok to take a bit of downtime.  If you’re feeling frustrated, know your limits and either reschedule yourself or decide it’s time to hire a professional!

If you have any other thoughts about how gardening and organizing are related I’d love to hear them!  Please leave a comment below.


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