With the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world, many people find themselves stuck in their houses. As life continues in the confines of your multi-walled abode, you may find the mess and clutter to pile up and up to no end. But, this only makes being stuck inside our homes worse.
So what are we to do about this set of unfortunate circumstances? What are some useful and efficient ways we can keep the mess down, and keep our spirits up?
Location, location, location…
Having lots of stuff is all well and good if that stuff can actually serve its purpose. No use having seven sets of scissors, myriads of pens and pencils, erasers galore, or pad after pad of paper if you can never find them.
So, the first step to keeping organized is to find a single place to keep each kind of item. There are a few caveats to this, however. Not all places are created equal!
The first important factor in choosing a home for your items is convenience. Is this an item you will want to use a lot? Then no sense in putting it in the back of a top shelf in a cabinet tucked away in a closet behind a dresser.
The place you put the item has to be a place you will be willing to return it to. If you need a pen all the time, you want to place it in a convenient spot that will make you want to keep it there. No sense having special places for things if you leave them on the desk and say, “I’ll put it away later.”
The second important factor for choosing a location for your items is continuity. Items that are similar to each other should be kept around the same location as each other.
What do I mean by this? It means items that are in the same ‘genre’ should be with each other. Pens, staplers, staples, scissors, erasers, and all sorts of other office or school supplies should be kept together.
The same goes for any other type of item. Kitchen utensils should go together, and tools for crafts and work should go together.
You may ask, what is the point of this? The point, my good friend, is so you don’t always feel like your house is a mobile jackpot casino. Never knowing what item you’ll get when you pull open that drawer. “Was that where I put my pens..?” Only to find the drawer full of drill bits.
Perhaps even more important than where you put your stuff is if you are consistent with keeping your stuff organized. There is simply no point in making a sophisticated organization system for your stuff if you won’t be consistent in putting everything back where it goes.
For example, when I was a small child, my mother would buy bins for me and my siblings to put our things and toys in. For a time, this would certainly work. We would put our items in their proper places, and we would somehow manage to keep the clutter at bay for a while.
Alas, we were still young children after all. We just couldn’t be consistent. It probably didn’t help that we didn’t understand either. So, bit by bit, we would start mixing up all the toys.
Dolls would go in the Lego bin, and toy cars would find their way into the toy animals’ habitat. Eventually, the bins would become nothing more than a toy salad. No more organized than they were before.
This is why consistency matters! Something that is already set and organized can stay organized if it is not interfered with. But, it is us people who can keep things neat and organized through the chaos of life.
Making Order of Life
Items are not the only things that need organizing in life. Events, chores, and any number of other things can become a jumbled mess if left unattended.
The first tip to keeping organized in life is to make lists of things that need to be done. It can seem so simple. Just writing things down and crossing them off. But that’s the point! It makes the chores a little less challenging.
“How does it make it less challenging?” You might ask. Great question! The key point is two things. The first is that it breaks your overall goal of doing ‘chores’ into a bunch of subtasks. For instance, your overall tasks can go from ‘Clean the house’ to something like this:
- Clean the Living Room
- Clean the Kitchen
- Clean the Bathroom
- Clean Child 1’s Bedroom
- Clean Child 2’s Bedroom
- Clean Master Bedroom
- Clean Garage
Now, by using a list, you have broken one giant task into seven more manageable tasks. And I would certainly be lying if I said crossing things off a list doesn’t feel oh so sweet!
The second important point of a list is to keep you from forgetting what it is you need to do. Perhaps in your effort to clean those stains that wouldn’t come out of the living room rug, you forgot to clean the en suite to the master bedroom.
Or maybe, it doesn’t have to do with the home at all! Maybe you are a student or you have a job. Having a list can make you not forget the things you need to do that could have consequences.
Have a few tests coming up? Make a list so you don’t forget to study for one while you are studying for another! Do you have to fix a few spreadsheets for an impatient boss? Make a list so you don’t forget.
Lists just make life easier. They will keep your bosses and teachers happy while keeping yourself motivated. Besides, all it costs is a pen and paper!
Organizing the Mind
Perhaps even more important during these times than keeping organized for a grumpy boss is keeping your mind organized. Mental health seems to be running at an all-time low as more and more people lose hope as this year draws to an end.
This is why keeping your mind clear, healthy, and organized is more important than ever! But, this is not a simple task. Our supercomputers made of flesh we call brains are mysterious things. How does one keep their thoughts organized?
The best piece of advice I can give is to take some ‘you’ time. And I don’t mean every so often, I mean setting aside a time every day where you can reflect.
This time should be a time of realization. Of stress relief and of self-reflection. So, It would be better spent on something to soothe and help you get your thoughts in order than a movie or video game.
The best kinds of activities are ones that are very unstimulating to the senses. Keep it dark or dim, don’t play anything loud and especially nothing with lyrics. Instrumental music could be good though. And, it could even help facilitate thought and reflection!
The best way to think of this time is basically like meditation. However, you don’t need to get too fancy. You can do something as simple as soak in a warm bath and reflect on the day. The simple point is this; it’s hard to keep your life organized if you can’t keep yourself organized.