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Organized Versus Clean

Melissa Smallwood is a professional organizer, mother of three boys, mommy blogger, and the owner of the informational website, Organized Life by Design.  You can catch up with her on Twitter @multitaskingme.

Organizing with Melissa

Organized Versus Clean

Many times I will hear people say they want to “get organized” when what they really need to do is clean their environment. There is a difference between cleaning and being organized. I figured this difference would be a good place to start with the new Organizing with Melissa column for Home Ever After.

To be organized is to “pull together into an orderly, functional, structured whole” while to clean is to “free from dirt, stain or impurity” (according to the American Heritage Dictionary). Becoming more organized can certainly assist you in maintaining a cleaner household but having a clean household has little to do with whether or not you are organized. Make sense?

Cleaning house is important, don’t get me wrong. Organizing is the process that makes cleaning the house occur on a regular basis, allows for time to keep the house clean and accounts for ways and tricks to make cleaning the house more efficient.

I love being a professional organizer. This career enables me to help people develop systems that make their lives run smoothly, help them use their time wisely and keep their environments (and mind) clutter free.

What Can Becoming More Organized Do for You?

  • Increase efficiency
  • Decrease frustration and pace of life
  • Help you feel more control of circumstances
  • Assist you in dealing with the unexpected
  • Develop routines and shortcuts that make life easier

Sounds great, right? I look forward to helping you and your family cut through the clutter of life.

Editor’s Note: Speaking of organizing, we’ve got a few decluttering articles you might want to start on now: Declutter Your Closet: Why is it So Hard to Let Go of Clothes? , Simple Decluttering Criteria for Clothes (Pt 1), Simple Decluttering Criteria for Clothes (Pt 2), Clutter Busting: The One in, One Out Rule, and Declutter by Returning Borrowed Items.  I know, it’s a lot of reading all at once! Just bookmark this page or print out the articles to read for later.  

Visit Works for Me Wednesday for more life organizing tips.


  1. Jeannie Anderson
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 05:52:06

    I’m totally struggling with this right now, so great reminders. I really am trying hard to prioritize first thing in the morning so I get done the stuff that needs to get done.


  2. Nessa
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 19:51:48

    I am so bad when it comes to organization! I have tried to work on scheduling my time more wisely and it helps, but I am really scatter brained which makes it challenging. I am currently working on organizing our truly scary “junk room”. It’s a work in progress.

    I can’t wait to read more of your advice on organization…I need all the help I can get!


  3. Melissa Multitasking Mama
    Jul 10, 2009 @ 12:23:52

    @Jeannie Becoming more organized is a process. A morning routine and a prioritized task list are great steps!!
    @Nessa Don’t be so hard on yourself :-) If there are specific organizing questions you have, leave them here and I will address them in future columns.

    Happy Organizing


  4. Janell
    Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:54:46

    Sounds Great Can’t Wait!!


  5. Home Ever After
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 08:39:09

    @Jeannie: Good for you for putting in the effort – hang in there. Little 15 minute chunks of decluttering or organizing are what saves me. It’s easy to find a few minutes daily, and the results really do add up. Keep up the good work!


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