Lessons From the Garden: Stay Organized

IMG_3019A garden presents more than pretty flowers and vegetables. It reflects care and attention from someone with intent. The gardener orchestrates, selects, excavates, organizes and anticipates. Left on its own weeds will dominate. The garden will wither without water and the proper soil conditions. So, the first lesson my garden teaches me is this: I am important. Without me, it’s chaos. Here are a few more lessons learned from the garden.

Slow down

Gardening is an activity that should not be rushed. Schedule time to address its needs whether in daily doses or weekend attention. When you slow down you will see what needs to be done by you and what nature provides. This kind of discovery relieves you from thinking you need to control and allows you to let some things be. The harvest will come when it’s ready.

Enjoy the journey

You can make your garden as small or as grand as you please. The rewards reaped will be double the time dedicated. For some people, it gets them away from a work-dominated life into a leisure lifestyle that doesn’t impose deadlines. You may start looking forward to pulling weeds and clipping buds.

Embrace the unexpected

Some plants may spread into areas where they don’t belong. Some may not return the next summer. Some bloom too early or too late. See this an opportunity to learn and do something different.

Use all your senses

The garden delights all the senses. Blend colors to create a visual feast and textures for a tactile treat. Wafting scents from aromatic plants can change your mood. The quiet of a garden can be a pleasure too.


You are a partner when it comes to the garden. Observe what it takes to nurture a healthy plant and you will see all sorts of interactions. This is a remarkable way that nature reveals balance.

There are no mistakes

Gardens are forgiving. If something doesn’t work, just dig it up and plant something new. It is a continuous learning process.

Quality over quantity

You can buy a bunch of flowers and vegetables at the grocery store, but the excitement of seeing that first bloom, savoring its scent or taste is worth the wait. The one cherished thing is worth more than many ordinary things.

Be generous

Go ahead and share your bounty with others. Gardens function in a practical and aesthetic way. If someone is hungry give him or her your fruit or vegetable. If they are in need of something simple and beautiful give them a flower from your garden. Don’t hold onto something simply because it’s there.


Gardens are not just for summertime. When buried knee deep in snow, take out a garden book and start anticipating. What can you add or take away from the garden this year? Imagine the daffodils in early spring, the rose bushes in summer and the prairie grass plumes in the fall.

Each of these lessons from the garden I bring to my role as a professional organizer. Clutter is a lot like weeds. Whenever I see clutter taking over someone’s life my inner gardener whispers, “stay organized.”

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