About the book
A work in progress for years, these Rules were birthed February 15, 2008 in written form, but they’ve been my companions for as long as I can remember. My work as a professional organizer prompted me to codify them. (Codify sounds overly lofty- like something Hammurabi or Moses would do, so let’s just say I wrote them down.) It was through helping chronically disorganized people, overwhelmed by their possessions, that I came to understand that the boxes, bins, trash bags and labelers were tools to employ after getting a grip on the psychological and emotional components of stuff.
The play on Robert’s Rules of Order is both obvious and intentional. Robert’s Rules provided clear, authoritative guide to parliamentary procedure. I hope that Robin’s Rules might provide an equally clear and reliable way of dealing with your possessions. These rules are the practical incarnation of the philosophy or principles which underpin them. Pondering the purpose and place of stuff is nothing new, but in our hyper-consumer culture, we seem to have lost our way. Continuing to go off trail is a perilous journey. The Rules are one way of getting back on track.
I am not trained as psychologist or counselor. I am no longer a professional organizer. I am just one of those people who has always known that less made me happier, not sadder; that I couldn’t have the best of everything, so I’d better decide what was worth sticking my neck out for; and that curating my things like they mattered (which they do), made me a master, not a servant.
So whether your tastes run toward chiffon or cashmere, shag or Persian, Ikea or antiques, the Rules of Order still work. If they help you to be more focused, thoughtful and intentional about your material world… hooray! Message sent matches message received!