Radvent 2010: Finding Peace in Organization

Some people are just born to organize, and, perhaps freakishly, I’m one of them. As a young child I remember making sure my toys and clothes and other child-like belongings were always just so. The innate behavior continued when I entered school, finding its way to my desk, my backpack, my pencil box, my Trapper Keeper, and eventually, my locker at high school. College and my office at The Gateway was simply more of the same. For my entire school career – and now as I enter the thesis stage of my master’s program – I simply cannot even think of getting to work unless my supplies and resources are orderly and organized.

My home life mirrors the rest of my life. I’m known to wake up at 5:30 or 6 in the morning to empty the dishwasher, make my bed, and put clean clothes away before getting ready for work. I have this thing about leaving my house spic and span before departing for the day.

Call me crazy, but I have respect for the tangible things in my life that make me happy. If they are pretty, I want them displayed in a tidy manner. If they are functional, I want them neatly stored away for whenever I need them.

The mantra “a place for everything and everything in its place” is the creed of my freakishly neat tendencies, and it makes organizing my life rather easy. When I bring new things into my home – groceries, clothes, beauty products, cleaning supplies, and the like – I don’t simply dump them on a counter or shove them in a corner. I determine the best “home” for each item. And if there’s a duplicate or similar item in its place, I toss out the old and make room for the new.

I suppose the “no mercy” approach I take to owning things is what helps keep me organized. If I haven’t used an item in a few months time, I toss it. If I need it again down the road, I can almost always buy another one.

The few days after Christmas – when many of us are overwhelmed with the sheer volume of new belongings both big and small – is the ideal time to clean out the closets and assess what we really use. Make donations to local charities. Compare what you have to what you want to what you really, really need.

Be vicious! You will be amazed at the breathing space created, both internally and in your spaces, by cleaning out the clutter and only surrounding yourself with the necessities.

But remember to keep and treasure the pretty things, too. A life without a little beauty isn’t worth enjoying and sharing.

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