Hi there! My name is Beth Penn and I’m a Professional Organizer (aka tidying expert).  I help clients create homes that support their goals by getting them to focus on the quality of their things, not the quantity. Leading a tidy life has many benefits that are especially fun to talk about since they can be a motivation to get your home in order.

Beth Penn

Beth Penn

Tidying teaches mindfulness

If you’ve ever seen “The Karate Kid,” you know that Daniel, the student, learns his killer karate moves through repetitive motions, like waxing a car and painting a fence. In the beginning Daniel is quite frustrated; he sees little point in the rigorous chores his instructor, Mr. Miyagi, assigns to him. It’s only after months of work that he realizes how the dots are connected. Daniel, unknowingly, has become a martial arts master. What does “The Karate Kid” have to do with tidying? His journey did not happen overnight—it was a process. In relation to getting one’s house in order, I don’t believe anyone was born with a tidying gene. It’s a daily practice that takes months and years to hone. As you declutter, you’re building your decision-making muscles. As you continue practicing your tidying skills, your awareness of what you bring into your home will strengthen and blossom.

Tidying helps you focus on what’s important

Imagine waking up and knowing exactly what needs to be done and crossing everything off the list by the end of the day. Not everyday is like that in a tidy home, but they happen more often than not. A tidy life alleviates disorder. When you cut things out of your life that don’t support you and say “no” to activities that aren’t a priority, you’re able to focus on what’s important.

Tidying makes space for creativity

I think we’ve all been guilty of desiring a larger home or a separate space altogether to call our own. A retreat to be creative, indulge in self-care or work without being distracted. As you let go of all the extra clutter in your life, you’ll find that it’s easier to carve out physical and mental space for your creative endeavors.

Tidying improves your self-esteem

Take a peek inside your medicine cabinet. Are there unused lotions, make-up and hair products that are just taking up space? We make purchases that promise to make us younger, more beautiful, and more desirable. Companies are well versed at playing to our insecurities, which results in overstuffed homes. Part of an effective tidying process may include journaling. Self-reflection is the key to realizing that drawers full of miracle creams are not going to resolve are self-esteem issues. You are enough.

Tidying builds friendships

Who hasn’t bought an outfit to impress someone? How about lining a bookshelf full of books to come off as an avid reader?  Being well-liked is a universal human desire, but there’s a better way to create long lasting friendships than by stocking a closet with designer duds. Build a community around your decluttering efforts. For example, starting an accountability group on social media where you can talk about your unique challenges. Individuals love to share and identify with other folks, which builds a stronger bond than wearing a recognizable brand of clothing.  

Illustrations by Grace Helmer

The Little Book of Tidying: Declutter your home and your life by Beth Penn is published by Gaia, £5.99 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk).