By Vanessa R. Cummings, CAPP, MDiv
Organizing your life is more important than you may realize. Some people work in what they call “organized mess,” while others cannot have one paperclip out of place without losing their ever-loving mind. Okay, maybe that was harsh, but you get the idea. However, as a person who has had organized mess, I love the peace of mind and sense of accomplishment I experience just waking up in an organized space.
When things are in place around you, you can find what you need and it provides a sense of peace that allows you to focus on the task at hand without distraction from your surroundings. Take pride in organizing your mess, whether it’s your schedule, your desk, office, home, or even your car. Yes, if you travel frequently, you usually have all your possible needs in your car. but it doesn’t have to look like a house on wheels.
- Car: Take a reusable shopping bag and place your essentials in it and place it in a convenient location. If it has your snacks, tissues, or other items you may need while traveling, place it behind the passenger seat so while driving you can easily access it without fear of it falling over.
- Office: Go through your piles of paper with a shredder close at hand. Keep only what you need and label it so you have a few stacks of items to file or process. Then, prioritize your stack and crisscross them with the most urgent on top. Work your way down the stack. A few items a day will get you through it. This process allows you to put bills together, important papers together, etc. That organizes your thoughts and keeps you focused on one subject at a time.
- Home: Take it one room at a time. Use the OHIO formula I learned from HGTV years ago: Only Handle It Once.
Make three areas before you start: one to trash/destroy, one to keep, and one to donate/sell/give away. The smallest pile should be what you will keep. Make sure you are in a “trashing” mood when you do this because it is very easy to get distracted and find yourself reminiscing and trying to hold on to everything. Make electronic files/pictures of items you want to keep, then make a memory book that contains the information you can pass along to your family.
These are just a few tips to help you get your life in order. As one who is in the process, I know it can be overwhelming. I just do one room at a time and sometimes a few items here and there. Over time I see the difference and feel much more at peace.
Then, keep it organized so you can enjoy the organized peace of mind. You may need to have one tray for mail and one for bills and a shredder/recycle bin by your door so when you bring in the mail, you get rid of the junk immediately to avoid the stack of papers later. Yep, been there, done that!
Happy peace of organized mind!
Vanessa R. Cummings, CAPP, MDiv, is CEO of Ms. V Consulting, LLC.