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Why do you want to be organized?  What does it actually mean?

Is it about tidiness?

No.  There are people who appear to be very untidy, yet they are still organized.  There are also people who are very tidy, but still disorganized about some things.

Is it about cleanliness?

No.  There are people who are not bothered by dust and dirt but are still organized.  There are also people who are obsessively clean, but are still disorganized about some things.

So what does it mean then?

There are different categories of being organized.

With regard to your belongings, it means you know where everything is and can find things quickly and easily.  Your things don’t become lost or damaged un-necessarily.  You can find your keys, your phone, the TV remote, those papers you need, your clothes, the glue, the spare light bulbs etc.

With regard to your time, and your ability to get done the things you need and want to get done, it means you know what you’re doing, when you’re doing it and why you’re doing it.  You’re not floundering in indecision and self doubt.  You feel confident that at any given moment you are doing what you need to be doing – the best thing to be doing at that moment.

 

So, your belongings are under control, and your time is under control.

Control – that’s the word, that’s the feeling.  Control over your own life.  Things are the way you choose for them to be.  You are in the driver’s seat of your own life, making choices, making decisions, and not just letting life happen to you however it may happen.

Control needn’t be seen as a negative word.  I’m not talking about controlling other people, I’m talking about controlling yourself.  I heard somewhere that freedom is control over your own life.  I like that idea.  Feeling free because I feel in control of myself and my own life.

When you are organized, you have habits and routines.  You do things a certain way, because thought and experience have taught you that it works better and is easier that way.  You know what you want done on a daily basis, and on a weekly basis, and you have a way of doing it, a time to do it, and order to do it in.

When you are organized, you have systems in place.  You have an idea how many loads of washing/laundry you tend to need to do each week, and how you sort the loads.  You have an idea how much time needs spending on your household bills and paperwork, and you have a time and method for doing it, a place to put the various papers where you can find them easily, a way of recording things that need to be remembered.

The more organized a person is, the less unfinished tasks they tend to have hanging around, draining their energy and competing for their attention.  When your life is organized, you are able to allocate time to attend to the things you want attended to.  An organized person plans things out, plans ahead, looks into the details, thinks about each task and what is involved, how important it is, when it needs doing by.

A person who is organized may still have many tasks and items written down on lists, and many incomplete projects, but they will not be ones which have been sitting stagnant for a long time with no progress made.  There are new ones being added all the time as old ones are completed and crossed off.  What a great feeling!

Being organized or not organized can be an indication of your emotional levels and your self esteem – your general happiness.  If you’re feeling better, it’s easier to be organized.  If you’re organized, it removes stress, improving your self esteem and making it easier to be happy.

So, it needs to be looked at in the context of your whole life and what is going on in it.  It’s no good just staring at that jumbled over stuffed closet you want to do something about, without examining your feelings about it, your feelings about yourself, your feelings about your life.  It’s all connected.

Being organized means having organized thoughts as well.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it – our thoughts can be all over the place.  But we can examine what’s going on with them and pick up thought patterns that are holding us back from being as organized as we would like to be.

Cleanliness and tidiness will come about in time as a natural consequence of being organized, if they are things that matter to you.  There are messy people who don’t keep things clean, who yet still achieve a lot of important and valuable things in their lives.  So, what’s wrong with that.  If you feel happy about what you’re achieving and are really busy with it, those things just may not be a priority to you.  As long as they are not causing problems for others, why worry about it.  If you decide you wish to deal with those matters and make a change, it can be done, but will require regular time allocated to it, or perhaps money rather than time – these things can simply be outsourced.

Life needs balance.  We have so many things to fit into our lives these days.  Are you spending too much time cleaning and not enough time with your family?  Are you spending too much time watching TV and not enough time attending to your basic necessities like managing your bills or your washing? 

One thing I think we all need regular time for in our lives is planning time.  Quiet time to assess what is going on in our lives, what we have coming up, what we want to get done – tomorrow, next week, this year – and how we plan to do it.  Quiet time to reflect on what our values are, think about our goals and try to define them more specifically, think about what is going on in our life at the moment and how we feel about it, think about the feelings we are having and where they come from, and take responsibility for them.

I have always strived to be an organized person.  It doesn’t come easily to me, but it does matter to me, because I know I always feel better when I feel things are in order, as they should be, under control.  Clutter and unfinished tasks and mess, not feeling I’m making progress, not feeling I’m sure of what I’m doing – these things all freak me out and make me feel yucky – so I work at being organized.  The older I get, as I’ve had more children, as my life has become busier and more complicated, and when I have been ill or not had my usual energy – the more it has been a struggle to keep things at what I would consider a satisfactory level of organization.

This has led me to constantly re-asses my priorities, let go of less important things, create better balance, find better, more efficient ways of doing things – and it’s never a finished job.  It is always an ongoing process of improvement.

Which is how our lives evolve.

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Comments   

#1 Marilyn 2014-06-09 09:54
Thanks for your emails, they are a wonderful inspiration for me to keep trying to improve myself.

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