Sunday, January 31, 2010

#30 Are You Being Served

#30- You have arrived at the final post on the list of 30 Things in 30 Days.  Whether this is the first post you've read or the final one of the series, today's words are true beginning point for anyone on a mission to make their spaces more livable, more efficient and better organized.

Know this.  Every single thing in your home should have a purpose.  Some things like boot trays and tea kettles have a practical purpose.  Simple.  If you use them, they are serving their purpose.  Other things like antique vases and prom dresses have a sentimental purpose.  Not always simple to discern, but necessary.  If, when you see them they give you good feelings, or as you carefully pack them away to save for fun dress up and vintage costume parties you can imagine enjoying them again in the future, they are serving their purpose.  Every single thing should serve you.  You.

If it is not serving you, then you are serving it.  And IT does not care.  There are so many things in this busy life that need our time, our efforts, our service.  If you are wasting your time moving things from place to place, spending money on containers for things you don't use, losing sleep thinking about piles then you are serving your things...they are not serving you.

Maybe you've read and attempted some of the other 29 things on this list.   Every other suggestion on this list of 30 things is rooted in this concept of service.  You should live in rooms that serve you.  You should live with things that serve you.  The goal of any organizing project is to figure out what's important to you, in your life, right now...and how to have access to that, right now, when you need it.

Some people are able to live with almost no things and it serves them.  Others have so many things they spend their days in service to those things and find that they have no time for themselves.  I'm living somewhere in the middle of course.  The over sweeping point to all of this is that things are just things.  If they serve you because you like using them or you love looking at them, then keep them and they will make your life better.  But if they are not serving you then let them go.  Give them to someone they can serve.

Maybe you don't have the time or the energy today, this week, or even this month to take a look at your entire house with this kind of eyes.  But start to view every thing in your life this way and you will find time to remove the things that don't serve you.  Tomorrow morning when you're sitting at the breakfast table glance over at that piece of artwork on the wall...if you love looking at it, leave it there.  If it makes you angry, or burdened, or reminds you of something you don't want to think about...then walk over to the wall and take down that chicken picture that you hate.  It's not serving you.  Now when you walk by that wall you'll have time to feel good about your action instead of angry that its hanging there.  Next time you open the utensil drawer, think quickly about those things you have to move out of the way to get to the elusive slotted spoon.  Do they serve you or are you serving them by constantly moving them out of the way?  Use your eyes to see what's serving you and remove the things that don't.

My point.  Use things that you love.  Keep things that you use.  If it's not serving you, then you are serving it and it doesn't care.


  1. I have never thought about how I am serving my things. This is a really neat perspective!