orangeThe photos to the right demonstrate a really interesting phenomenon. The orange is buoyant with its rind on, but sinks to the bottom when the rind is taken off.  With less weight, it behaves more heavily.   I suppose the rind is more porous and provides flotation qualities.  I don’t actually know.  I’m not a scientist.  I’m an organizer and as an organizer I see some interesting parallels between this orange-in-water and contents-in-containers.

The sinking orange represents thinking “outside the box” or, to be more accurate, thinking outside the rind.  Good organizing calls for thinking outside the rind too.  Clients have often told me that the organizing solution they need is another file cabinet for all the paper, a new closet system for all the clothes, or a bigger house for everything else.   In every case, however, what’s required instead is a rethinking of the contents being kept.

Shedding the excess can create a paradigm shift as dramatic as shifting from buoyancy to sink-ability.  When you really examine what your priorities are and why you are holding on to things, you realize that you don’t need a great deal of your items.  Suddenly the new possibilities bloom.

Finally, I would argue that the peeled orange creates more weight because it’s in a usable state.  An orange is not created to hide in its rind until it rots. It exists to be eaten and enjoyed when it is fresh.  Similarly, we should be keeping items to use and enjoy.  If you remove everything from your home that you no longer use or enjoy, you will find your home serving your needs just fine.  And you may not need to find a bigger one!

I found this photo at If you’re not familiar with it, check it out.  It’s a really cool site.