Some people are born thinking organized thoughts and and their whole atmosphere around them shows it. Others have a hard time saying the alphabet in order. They think in "piles" rather than "files". Usually these two personalities marry each other or become business partners and end up in battle over this very issue. It's often the more creative personality that lacks order. They like to fly by the seat of their pants and that can work when you are all alone. But add another person to the mix or have your company grow and now there are just too many details and people to keep track of all the important things in the piles.
Having an organized work area or home is a real help to everyone. At Miracle Mountain Ranch in our maintenance department we had a creative but unorganized staff member who left tools he had used for a project all over the place. When another staff member had a project to do and needed some of those tools to do it they would often use all of their allotted time just trying to find the needed tools. This also cost the ministry quite a bit of money in buying new tools because the ones we had couldn't be found. So the guys who worked in the maintenance department got together and had an intervention. First they explained the problem to the "messie" in no uncertain terms. Then they worked together to completely clean the shop and set up a place for every tool. They even drew outlines on a peg board where different hand tools were to be placed when a job was done. They also recognized that sometimes they all got "messie" if they were in a hurry. They now knew where everything should go and they agreed together on a consequence for any one who left the shop without putting things away. As they began to see that putting things away so that the next guy could easily find them was actually an act of loving their brother it made the extra effort more valuable. So here are some tips to be better organized for the sake of all who are in your life.
There are several reasons why things get messy.
1) Things don't have a designated place. Homelessness even for things is a sad state of affairs. So, bite the bullet and decide a home for each item that is convenient for where it is used.
2) We are tired and just don't want to bother. We do get tired but clutter has been clinically shown to create chaos and even insanity in the brain. Neatness gives the mind some space to rest. Tell yourself putting it away will actually result in a more restful atmosphere for you.
3) We procrastinate. We tell ourselves, "I'll do it later, just not now." However, the Spanish have a phrase that says, "Tomorrow never comes." Later never comes and one item out of place becomes a magnet for many items until the job becomes huge to clean up. If you would like to get more order in your home or workspace for the purpose of greater efficiency and less time spent hunting an item you desperately need, then:
Start Small - Always break a big job into small parts. Lew says eat an elephant with a small fork. Start in one room, with one corner or one drawer. Sort through, decide the permanent home for each item and put it there. Finish the corner or drawer and take a break. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. The next day work on the next corner or drawer.
Send Out - Ask yourself, "How long has it been since I used this or wore this item of clothing. If it has been a year or more and it's still a good item then send it somewhere where someone will use it. If there is an emotional tie to the item take a nice picture of it. Seeing the picture will enable you to bring up the same good memories and you can hang the picture where you can see it everyday. Stuffed away this item has been forgotten for most of it's life so send it out, keep the picture and the good memories.
Secure A Place - When deciding a home for an item ask how, when and where would I best use this item and make a place there where it is useful and easy to put away. In our early years my husband would undress in his closet and drop his dirty clothes on the floor so I placed an open plastic garbage can right there by his fresh clothes so he didn't even have to take a step and the dirty clothes started being dropped into the can which made it easier for me to get them to the washer.
Don't Set It Down - Make ONE RULE that come hell or high water you commit to live by. That rule is: If it's in my hand it goes to its home now! Cleaning and organizing is worthless expenditure of energy without this rule. The mess grows again quickly and usually bigger than before without carefully following this rule. But if you do follow this one rule you'll only need a small buff up of areas now and then to keep everything where you can easily find and use it. And remember this is how you can truly bless the others you live and work with.