Why Cookie Cutter Doesn’t Work for Organizing

Save the cookie cutter for your fave holiday treats, because it doesn’t work with organizing.

Since I’ve been diving into more work with decluttering and organizing, I’ve tried ALL sorts of protocols. As a natural type three “order seeker” from my Decluttering Personality Type Quiz, I’m a connoisseur of all things organization (methods, books, etc.). But it didn’t all work for me. I believe the best way to create new, workable systems is to chart your own path. Read on to see five reasons why cookie cutter doesn’t work for organizing, in my opinion.

1. It’s written by the masters

Marie Kondo
Image source: UCSD Guardian

When I worked in advertising, our primary software had a pretty high learning curve. In trainings, it was sometimes described with the disclaimer “it’s an advertising software, but it’s not made by advertisers.”

One day when someone said that, I thought: “Well, yeah. I hope not. I hope this software was made and managed by a software developer, as that is THEIR zone of genius. OUR job is to provide feedback.”

The same goes for organizing and decluttering. We should be inspired by the work and methods of the great masters who have authored books on the topic. But for YOUR home, for the personalities who live there, to fit YOUR lifestyle, a one-size-fits-all method may not work. Think of it like a software! It works best when it’s uniquely created and adjusted based on what the user needs.

With my upcoming Decluttering by Design 90-Day challenge, you’ll have the opportunity to create your own decluttering and organizing plan. And get ideas and feedback from myself and the group. Having a second set of eyes on your trouble areas can help you see blind spots. So you can solve your problems with a different mind than what created them. (As Albert Einstein would totally approve of!)

2. You don’t have time to follow all their rules

Organized toddler closet Photo source: Style Me Pretty

Do you ever read a book or a blog on HOW to organize/declutter your stuff and feel like you’ll never have time to do it? Or worse, you get inspired to START and realize you’re in way over your head and can’t finish?

I personally feel like there’s often unrealistic rules and directions in some of the most popular organization/decluttering protocols.

The Decluttering by Design challenge is all about creating new habits that will change your space now and in the long run. It’s designed for legitimately busy women who are committed to getting results in the three selected areas of their home. You get to decide how much time you put into it, with guidance based on your initial assessment.

3. There’s ZERO accountability

Blog and book authors have no control over what people do with the information they provide. It’s sort of like they’re just writing a philosophy or at best, a loose plan. Frankly, they don’t need you to get results to sell more books. They just need you to buy into the dream!

With the Decluttering by Design 90-day challenge, YOUR results are the ultimate goal. There are six workshop check-ins throughout the program and a private Facebook group to help keep you on track. My goal is for your home to feel like you just invested $10k+ for a professional organizer. But it’s a fraction of the price!

4. You decide it won’t work ahead of time

Sometimes the simple answer for why cookie cutter organization protocols don’t work is because you decided they wouldn’t. You saw the above factors and decided it wouldn’t work for you. And the clutter just builds as you procrastinate…

As a type three, I can relate to this! It used to take watching/reading 10 hours of organization inspiration to muster up the gumption to just get started. But any action at all, is better than none!

To move from being messy to being more organized involves a degree of an identity shift. When you THINK like an organized person, you can become one. But most people can’t ride their first bike without some training wheels. With the Decluttering by Design 90-day challenge, you get THREE MONTHS to walk the walk and talk the talk with a group of like-minded women. It gives you an opportunity to change your thoughts and habits that have held you back from getting results.

5. The end result isn’t cute/sustainable

Adorable linen closet idea/label printable from the Creativity Exchange

Have you ever spent a whole weekend organizing your closet and take a picture at the end and feel – underwhelmed? When you send it to your friends, do you feel like you have to explain how long it took you in order for it to be impressive? It totally sucks when you put a lot of time into a space and the end result doesn’t feel aesthetically transformed.

As a designer, I’ve watched PLENTY of organization videos online and felt a little disappointed with the end result. And of course I should! I have a high standard for design.

While decluttering and sorting your stuff takes the lion’s share of your time, I want you to be completely obsessed with your new space. It should reflect your style and communicate to anyone “this girl has her sh*t together.”

If you don’t love it, or if it’s not clear how to keep it looking good, then what’s the point? Hence the “design” part of the Decluttering by Design 90-day challenge. I’ll help you come up with a plan to make it gorgeous!

Are you so down for this – it’s not even funny?

The next Decluttering by Design Challenge starts late spring! Are you ready to make massive changes in your home? Click here to get on the challenge wait list!

Disclaimer: this article is NOT intended to throw shade at holiday cookies or cookie cutters. Kaitlyn Loos Design is in full support of shapely holiday treats. 😉

Feature photo credit: Cristina Ilao

About Kaitlyn Loos

Kaitlyn Loos [loh-s] is a virtual e-designer for interiors and organizing. She helps busy moms with young families create dreamy spaces that function for their unique needs. She notably developed the Decluttering Personality Type quiz which has helped hundreds of people break down mental barriers about clutter. Kaitlyn loves to collaborate with clients to bring modern, fresh, and color-savvy design into their homes. Kaitlyn Loos Design delivers style for nearly any investment level. She also enjoys sharing her ideas and projects through her blog and discussing hot design topics on Instagram live.

Kaitlyn is located in the west-central Florida area (Tampa, Ocala, Gainesville, and everywhere in between) with availability for select in-person projects for 2021.