Sitting around doing nothing is definately something I was not made for. I get bored very easily. I need to feel that my time is being filled, that I am producing something, otherwise, I feel like wasting precious lifetime.When you are at work, you work. Outside the office, at least in my simplist way of seeing things, time is yours.Lately, I have been using “my” time to organize the chaos that I had built around me. Mainly, the one that stays on the desk, in the cupboard, in the closet and everywhere around the place, except where it should be. However, now it is the moment of cleaning the place, in all senses.
It is fun to see things this way, but believe, for someone naturally chaotic like me, the simple fact of placing all documents together and always on the same place can be a serious exercise of discipline. So I came up with a method that is working so far (for almost 3 months and I am proud of that):
1. Start with what causes you more problems
Every evening when I had to pick the clothes to go to work on the next day (why not? I can always stay longer in bed this way and I don’t risk getting socks of different colors) it was a nightmare. I could never find what I want to wear, or when I did, it was begging for some ironing. It disturbed me very much because it happened religiously every single evening (including when it was going out) and made me waste a lot time.
Taking a deep breath and organizing everything was not the most difficult, but maintaining it was another story. I arrived at home and the temptation of just throwing things was irresistable. When it happened, I just tried to focus in how harder things would get when I had to wear the same outfit again. Who likes ironing for godsake?!? It works wonders. At the first sight of chaos coming, getting things done before they get worse is the solution. Don’t let your mood go down. Remember “Getting Fit with Denise Austin”? “You can do it!!!” After a while you will see that you gained hours with the minutes invested on daily basis.
2. You can’t say good-bye to things
Remember the sticker of the first Valentine’s Day gift you got from your beloved one that still lies in the shelf? What about the rest of the wrapping paper you bought for last Christmas? Or even all your books from college that you keep “just in case”? Let’s face it: you will remember about the sticker for long, the wrapping paper will be oldfashioned by next season and all those books will never be touched again. Ever!
So it is time to practice a little bit of detachment and get rid of things that are just there, taking place. Think that the more you accumulate, the less place you have for the new/modern/stylish stuff and you will have a lot of extra work if you need to move.
The key is keep it simple! If you won’t be needing in the next month (or less), chances are you will forget about it anyway. There surely are a lot of things laying around that could make use of some extra empty space in your cupboard, drawer or desk.
3. It has no use if it’s broken
If you are as attached to your belongings as I am, you probably keep a lot stuff just waiting for the day when you will have whether time to put it back together or money to have someone fixing it. This sounds very beautiful, but a question arises: will it really ever happen? Or is it even worth it to start with?
It is amazing how fast appliances evolve and how the idea of fashion can totally change in one year. Unless you have extremely comfortable leather boots that need to be refurbished, don’t keep them just for the numbers. And if they are that comfortable, don’t wait any longer to have them fixed. You will never know when you need them again. Leaving them ready to use might prevent you throwing away money with new ones that might not fit that well.
Even if everything around your place has a story, keep in mind that you are not a museum. Let it go.
4. If you already have it, you don’t need new ones
It is common that when people move away, either to live themselves or with someone else, they buy (almost of) everything they need. The idea varies according to the budget, but the minimum is there. This should imply that certain basics like boards, glasses, towels, etc are already there, somewhere, under the bed or in the pile of ironing. Unless you are able to get rid of the old stuff you have (see point 2), don’t go getting yourself more plates just because they were on sale. Towels and bed covers do need to be replaced after a while, but you don’t need to buy new ones if you still have some in their original package.
5. Keep up with the good work
Once you get things done (whether it is one room or the whole place) you will see the wonders it will work on you. However, have in mind that it is just the beginning. Keeping things the way that they are after you organized them. Don’t let things go to crazy again before you organize it all over again. The idea is making life easier for you and not an endless sort of Penelope’s work. It takes much less time and effort to put away a thing or two than to clean up the whole place. The longer you are able to maintain things in order, the more rewarding it will be.
Discipline is the key word. You must have it when you begin your work and you must maintain the momentum afterwards. Nothing will change if you don’t break your own inertia and move on. Speaking from my own experience, these little things have been working sweet miracles in my daily life.
This said, let’s start working!
*image from The Morning News.