I’m a wannabe — I’m sure most people are in some category. And perhaps in more than one.
I’m a wannabe organized person. I can be very organized on the job, but at home it has always been W.O.R.K. My third child, a girl, came from the womb organized. She takes after my mother. I did not inherit that gene. By the age of 6 she was taking care of my spice cabinet. At 10 she banned me from putting away groceries in the pantry. She said I did not do it correctly. I talk about them here.
But, in my defense, I always knew where things were and I am more the creative type. (I will use that excuse my entire life.) I have, however, worked on this part of life every single year. My New Year goals usually involve some sort of organizing task.
One of my dear writer friends said, in response to my yearning to be more organized, “Don’t organize yourself out of your personality!” To which, my darling daughter (the organized one) responded: “Oh don’t worry, she won’t!”
And there you have it. I simply have to work at it. I’ve improved through the decades, but it is still a struggle. My brain doesn’t think A, B, C. I’m more the G, 4, J kind of thinker.
I have, however, discovered a couple of secrets in keeping things more sane at home. Would you like me to share them? If you are uber-organized, you can just move on down the page. But for the rest of us here is my simplistic approach that really helps.
#1 Just put it away.
Don’t lay something down anywhere but where it belongs. Don’t leave the honey on the counter or the box of tea. Open the cupboard and put it away. Don’t leave stuff laying. Just put it away. Put the dirty clothes in the hamper, put the towel on the hook, put your shoes in the closet, hang the necklace, and so on and so on and so on.
If you say it to yourself with a little sarcastic tone, it will work better.
Just put it away!
Then you don’t have to face it again. Then you don’t have to have other things pile on top of it until you can’t deal with the task in front of you. Then it is simply done.
Just put it away. You can find it easily the next time you need it.
#2 Don’t work against yourself.
What in the world does that mean, you ask? Don’t let yourself have collections of things that clutter up the shelves that demand straightening or cleaning. Don’t let yourself take on so many projects that disaster ensues and it makes you crazy. Don’t say you will organize the event, be part of the promo team instead. Don’t start four household jobs at one time. Just do one.
Oversimplified? The answer to that simple question is: NO! It is not oversimplified. It is just that simple. I have learned (through many many years) that the best way to catch up on anything is to pick up one thing, finish it to completion, pick up the next.
** If your kitchen is a disaster, start with putting things away that can be put away, then do the dishes, then clear every space, then take out the trash, then put the dishes away, then sweep the floor, then shine the appliances. Then make yourself a cup of tea (and put everything away when you are done.)
** If you have too many tasks at work, pick up one piece of paper (or whatever represents the task) and finish it completely, then go to the next. If you are in retail, straighten one zone, and move on.
A timer helps some people to stay on task. A check list works for others. Do whatever it takes for you, just do NOT work against yourself. Finish what is at hand, then go on.
Nothing feels better than organization: When everything is in its place, peacefulness abounds.
Easy to do? Nope.
But lovely when you sit back and breathe in the peacefulness. Lovely when you need to find your hole punch, or tax form, or file, or _________ and it is where it should be. So lovely.
Organizational Wannabe (and working on it)