A cluttered and disorganized home or office creates stagnation, encourages procrastination and lowers productivity. Use these four self-reflection as your guide to becoming organized and efficient. (Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes)
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”— Benjamin Franklin
Have you ever entered someone’s house and got an instant sense of who they are, simply by what you saw inside?
- Several framed family portraits peppered on the walls is indicative of a person who is family-oriented.
- A collection of souvenirs from exotic countries tells you that the person is an explorer at heart.
- A dozen portraits of birds and animals, and hiking equipment are signs of a nature lover.
- A rack full of books on philosophy and history speaks of a person with a deep intellect.
Each piece in the house gives clues on key aspects of the inhabitant’s personality and interests. Additionally, you can learn a lot about a person’s state of mind from how they keep their house.
A clean and well-organized home shows that the person living there, most likely, has a clear and disciplined mind. A living space that’s unkempt and cluttered, on the other hand, is symptomatic of chaos and confusion.
Now I suspect that some of you might scoff at this notion, and see it as a harsh generalization. After all, couldn’t the person simply be too busy to clean house? Even if that was the case, their surroundings would still lead them to the same place. It’s a chicken and egg situation.
For this to make sense, let’s examine this from the lens of the ancient metaphysical art of Feng shui. This philosophy developed 3000 years ago in China and is used till this day to create harmony and balance in a living space to bring good fortune and health for people living in it.
According to the principles of Feng shui, clutter and a disorganization in a home or office creates stagnation, encourages procrastination and an inability to move forward in our life. This philosophy highlights that energy needs to flow smoothly through space to encourage smooth circulation.
It’s rare to find successful individuals who don’t maintain some kind of order in their life because they know that it would almost always lead to a waste of valuable resources. This proves the value of becoming organized.
I lived with a messy roommate in college for two years. Despite my daily reminders to her to pitch in with the housework, I was left to clean house all by myself. She eventually began helping me clean the common areas but her bedroom continued to look like a tornado had wrecked it.
What I found strange is that despite the clumsiness she demonstrated at our apartment, she managed to get excellent grades in all her classes. In fact, she was on the dean’s list every single year in school.
Later on, I was able to get some insights into her personal life, which was, not surprisingly, full of drama and turbulence. The messiness I saw in her spaces manifested in this aspect of her life.
If you’re someone who’s steeped in clutter and living in disarray, here are some self-reflection questions that may lead to valuable insights.
1. How do you feel when you think about how disorganized your life is right now?
2. What do you think is causing you to be disorganized? State the obvious and the deeper reasons.
3. What shifts and changes do you need to make to restore some order in your life? Think about the changes you can make on several different levels – mind, body, emotions and spirit.
4. What are some measures that you can take to becoming organized in your life? What kind of systems can you set in place to make sure that everything continues to run smoothly?
The Japanese have an age-old tradition that they perform whenever they let go of clutter. They perform this ceremony with reverence because they see it as a special send-off for the things that were once dear to them, in preparation for a new phase on their journey.
And that’s essentially what we do whenever we try creating order in our lives. We create systems where we can bid adieu to what once was, so that we can make room for the new. In this way, we can smoothly flow with the natural cycles of life.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What is the first step you can take towards becoming organized so that you can create more order and harmony in your life?
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This article was very well written! Thanks for sharing your experience with your college room mate and breaking down the thought process of how you isolated the cause of her messy room. It’s true that a disorganized room is caused by mental turbulence, imo. It’s an endless circle sometimes, even for myself. If I’m stressed, the clutter piles up, if I look at the clutter I feel more stressed because I’m stressed there’s clutter! I know I’m not the only one who feels like this some days! Thankfully, the relief you feel is intense, once the clutter is cleaned up, so there’s a reward at the end for keeping on top of things.
Thank you for feedback Audrey. Yes the act of cleaning can definitely be a therapeutic experience. It’s not easy to keep up with if you’re busy but with good planning you can stay on top of it.
thank you for this enlightening post
there are so many useful and interesting articles on this blog.
Tina Chase says
This was a real eye-opener for me Seline. Thanks for your thoughtful posts- you seem so wise!
Thank you for your comments Ahmed and Tina! Best wishes, Seline.
I so needed this article! I am a very disorganized person, at least by most people’s standards. However nine out of ten times if I need something I know where it is. I have always been a bit on the disorganized and messy side of things and I have tried to change but never had much luck. But now with the information you gave us here I think I will have to try again!
Harry P says
lots of great ideas in your post. i help some of my friends to organize their files like photos, however it is really time consuming and i can only offer help once in a while because i need to tend to my work as well. i’ll be recommending your article to them!