Everyone’s meaning of the word organized is different
Some people are at one end of the spectrum like Monk, the obsessive/compulsive detective, who can’t stand clutter and everything must always be in its place. Others are completely comfortable with leaving their stuff anywhere and everywhere, living in totally chaotic surroundings and can never find anything. And still others are freaks of nature that no matter how much clutter they live in, they can always put their hand on anything at a moment’s notice. Most people fall somewhere in between and usually in the “tolerates clutter but can usually find something within a reasonable amount of time” category. However, the definitions of tolerates and reasonable can vary significantly from household to household.
No matter how we define being organized, we all have something in common. And that is the more organization we have in our life, the more balance our lives will have. The world around us at time seems chaotic with so many things being out of our control. Living an organized lifestyle can reduce that feeling of chaos by managing our home environment in a positive, structured manner.
For example, the time lost spent looking for keys, glasses or whatever can quickly add up if you find yourself doing that more than a few times every day. Before you know it you could have spent a half hour or up to an hour over a day’s time just looking for something instead of being productive. Taking the time to find the right home for an item that you use multiple times a day is so important. Once you figure out where the right home is then you teach yourself to put the item in its home when you are done with it. Then instinctively when you need to use it, you go to its home instead of on a search and rescue mission that takes 10 or 15 minutes or longer.
Take this to the next level. Think about tax time. How organized are your 2004 files and information for April 15th? How chaotic will your time be leading up to that date? How much time with your kids or your spouse or time for yourself will you sacrifice because you are unorganized? Something as simple as an accordion file with monthly tabs can be the home for all that wanton income tax information.
There are so many tools available now from storage containers to file cabinets to magnetic dry erasable calendars to help us achieve this organized lifestyle. These tools can facilitate the way we choose to live our life to create more structure and organization. Each of us looks for different ways to achieve balance in our lives. Being organized can be one of the simplest ways of getting there.
Helen Yarbrough is a professional organizer and her company, Ordered Spaces, provides organizing services and helps people find more time and space in their environments. Ordered Spaces works in homes and businesses and is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO).
Post Facto: Ordered Spaces is no longer in operations.