What does being organized really mean?
When I throw that question out there, people usually respond by describing visions of neat and tidy spaces, labeled shelves, lined up jars, and no clutter.
In fact, these images could not be farther from the truth.
An orderly space is only a “side effect” of being organized but it is NOT the goal.
The definition of true organization is being able to find what you want when you need it.
What Is The True Goal of Being Organized?
The true goal of being organized is being able to have that thing that you need at your fingertips despite any clutter that might surround you.
When the clutter creeps in – and you know it will – if you have a system in place to get the item or information that you need at a moments notice, without searching high and low, then you can pat yourself on the back.
Organized and “Neat and Clean” Are Not The Same
Any good cleaning service can create a neat and tidy space.
But what you need to do to “get organized” is to create a system that you will come to rely upon.
Do you see the difference?
In my house, things can get chaotic at times. Six of us and a our dog live here.
The kids drag in backpacks, sports equipment, food wrappers, friends … if you want to find them, just follow the trail.
On some days, you might walk in the door and think “A blogger that writes about how to get organized lives here? Really?”
But the thing is – underneath the hubbub there is a certain order.
Important things have their place, so I can find them when I need them.
And at the end of the day – we can clear the mess quickly and efficiently because everything does have a place.
Organization and Habits are Closely Related
Organization and good habits are almost synonymous.
If you tackle one small area at a time as part of your organization process, you will introduce order and create a lasting habit.
In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg teaches us that:
A habit gives people the ability to act without having to take the time to think about the action.
For example, to organize your papers and your space, you might set up a spot or inbox to put all of your incoming bills on a daily basis.
Then to organize your time you can create a set of tasks that you will do at a certain time like pay bills every Monday morning at 9:00.
By following this daily and weekly routine – you are creating a system for paying your bills on time and for finding those papers should you need them during the week.
After doing this repeatedly, it will become a habit.
Finding what you need, when you need it. It's the key.
As you put this into practice you will discover ways that you can improve both the area being organized and other disorganized parts of your life.
What is Your Biggest Challenge
What is your biggest challenge to staying organized? Let me know in the comments below.