How to organize to create joy in your home.

man and woman holding hands together with boy and girl looking at green trees during day

I had  a number of questions submitted to me about how to create joy in your home.  Here are my answers.  I hope you enjoy them. Please send me more questions or place your thoughts in the comments about creating joy at home.

How does tidying up a home help create joy?

Tidying up so you can find what you want, when you want it, use it to accomplish your task and know where to put it away relieves, stress, tension and frustration.  It also uses less energy to complete your work, leaving more energy, physical and emotional, for other parts of your life.  Feeling less anxious and overwhelmed makes room in your life for happiness and joy because you have time to spend on the important things, health, relationships and personal growth.

How can you use the idea of a happiness shrine to help someone have more joy and help reduce clutter?

A “happiness shrine” or “pride shrine” in a home is a shelf/wall space/corner used to display items that serve no utilitarian purpose but to make you feel happy.  I have a space in my office where I post 1 picture from some vacations with my family and a small shelf for interesting items, that remind me of my successes.  This corner certainly makes me smile with many memories.  People need to decide which things are significant to them by having a designated, limited, personal space for sentimental items. It allows other areas in the home to be organized purposefully reducing distracting clutter in the commonly used areas. Give each member of the home a “pride shine” area and remember what is in your shrine can change and evolve to reflect your life’s past, present and future.

White cupboard door with pictures on it.

How can someone organize their running shoes and workout gear in an attractive way where they are visible but don’t wind up in piles on the floor? 

Exercise is one of many ways to help increase your mental wellness.  People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise A study showed that people are more likely to exercise or make healthy habits if they can see their workout gear. Goals and habits are easier to accomplish if you are intentional about your plan, and set a day and time to exercise.  Organize your sneakers and workout gear on a shelf so you can see them when you enter your room or open the closet. A shoe or pocket organizer hung on the inside of a door will also work well.  Roll your exercise gear, shorts, tops, warm-up pants, warm-up tops, running jacket, etc and place each item in a pocket.  It will make it easy to see your workout gear as well as limit the amount of gear you purchase.  Don’t forget to put the shoes in one of the pockets too. A drawer may keep your gear hidden from your view but if you prefer using a drawer also put items in the drawer that you use every day so you will continue to notice your workout gear daily.

Books bring joy to many people. How can we tidy up our book collections? 

Books are such a personal topic.  Some people read a book once and donate it to their library while it is current and in good shape.  Other people like to be reminded of the stories they have read and so keep books just to remember them.  Still, other people like to have beautiful picture style books and enjoy them as entertainment, like watching a movie. Lastly, people like them as reference books on topics they have studied or want to learn about.  Think about why you have books and if they still serve you well.  Perhaps you can check out books from the library, download books, share books or trade books to reduce the number of books you own but still be able to enjoy them.  If you have more books than you can display on shelves in your home, I think you have too many.  Books that are kept in boxes can’t be used, enjoyed or experienced.  Reducing the clutter of owning boxes of books, reduces the time and energy spent on thinking and worrying about what to do with them. It frees up time to spend on the things that are important to you now and it frees up space.

How does donating unused or unwanted items help to create its own sense of joy?

Donating unused or unwanted items creates a sense of helping others.  Your items can be used to help raise money for community causes, given to charities to help people, and develop relationships with organizations to make the world a better place for everyone.  We are so privileged to have enough to share with others.  Your sense of joy may come from protecting the environment by keeping useful items out of landfills, by sharing your wealth to support people and projects locally or globally, and by being an example for others to follow.  Joy comes in many forms.

Car trunk full of bags of things to donate

Let me know in the comments how you bring joy into your home.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually over Zoom. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

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  1. Seana Turner on July 22, 2019 at 8:33 am

    There is so much joy to be had in organizing. You’ve highlighted some terrific examples. I feel your point about being less overwhelmed and stressed is almost tangible. Sometimes I feel like I can see a physical weight lifting from a client’s shoulders as we work. And I love when they carry on and clear out another space after I’ve left… the joy feels so good they don’t want to stop!

    • Julie Stobbe on July 22, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      I agree when clients start to feel the joy of living in their designed space, I am so happy for them. They seem to smile more and share more about their lives and focus/worry less on their stuff.

  2. Linda Samuels on July 22, 2019 at 9:54 am

    There can be joy in the actual act of organizing and also in the results that we experience from creating order and making choices about which things are important to us. The idea of the “happiness shrine” resonated with me. I have a few areas that have photos or objects that make me smile like photos of loved ones, my Pez collection, or tray of fidgets. Each person has various tolerances for clutter and order. In finding that joy, it’s also a matter of paying attention to what feels right for you.

    • Julie Stobbe on July 22, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      You are absolutely right that finding joy is what feels right for you. It is not about how many items your own. I had built a happiness shrine and didn’t realize that what I had done actually had a a specific name attached to it until now.

  3. Sabrina Quairoli on July 22, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Joy is subjective. One person’s joy is another person’s frustration. So, I find that looking inwardly and determining what you love in your home is a perfect way to start finding joy. Walking around the home with a pad and paper and writing down the items that spark joy will give direction to what you can get rid of and what you want to keep.

    • Julie Stobbe on July 22, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Thank-you for the tip Sabrina of writing down which items sparks joy. It can help identify patterns that can they be discussed to better understand what to keep.

  4. Janet Schiesl on July 23, 2019 at 6:00 am

    I love all your suggestions on how to create joy in a space. It’s a very personal decision, what creates joy for you. Does having more stuff surrounding you or have more empty space. I think most people reach what they feel is a happy medium.

    • Julie Stobbe on July 23, 2019 at 8:09 am

      Thanks for your comment and the reminder that joy is very personal. I think that is why professional organizers are more successful than family members at helping to get a space organized. Family members think they understand what will bring joy and professional organizers let joy evolve.

  5. Charmaine Grace on March 15, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you Julie. I enjoyed reading the article. Lots of good suggestions.

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