sometimes, more really is better


Check out the trunk of my 2007 Prius, which I do my best to keep tidy on principle. And, uh, because it carries a license plate frame that says “Hire a Professional Organizer.” What if someone looked inside the hatchback and saw heaps of junk?

My trunk would definitely be neater without a stack of reusable grocery bags and my yoga mat in its green dotted tote. But carrying them with me saves time, hassle and energy — and those factors are just as important as “being organized.”

Take the yoga mat. I have two. My red one stays at home, rolled up in our hall closet when I’m not using it. My pale blue one is stashed in the car so I can bring it to my Thursday and Sunday yoga classes at the gym.

Could I survive with just one yoga mat? Yes. Eliminating either one, however, wouldn’t save me any time and certainly not much space. And showing up in class without a yoga mat would definitely undo the serenity that I’m trying to boost by practicing yoga in the first place.

Then there’s the bags. I’m committed to reducing waste by loading purchases into my reuseable grocery bags. After emptying the contents at home, I hang the bags on the door to our garage so I’ll remember to replace them in my car. I’m never without them and estimate that in the 15 years I’ve been using them, I’ve saved thousands of plastic and paper bags. The principle of eliminating my bag consumption trumps my need for a perfectly tidy car.

Do you compromise neatness for any values? How did you reach a workable balance?

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About organizesf

Professional organizer June Bell (www.organizesf.com) combats clutter and chaos with sage advice, tested techniques and good humor.
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