Organized or Orderly. Which are you?
Are you the kind of person that is constantly looking for things? I don’t mean the what-did-I-come-in-here-for moments, I mean, it’s time to go – do you know where your keys are?
Got em? Excellent.
If you can find what you need when you need it, you are organized, no matter what it looks like.
Often, we collapse the meanings of organized and orderly.
When we see spaces that are clear and orderly, it imparts calm to our spirits. It’s soothing to look at things when they are tidy and clutter is out of sight. Papers in a folder in a file cabinet are easier to contend with than papers strewn about on a desktop. That peaceful feeling is what we strive for.
But if you can’t find what you need when you need it, so what? There goes that peaceful feeling.
At this moment, my home is in complete shambles. I am clearing and packing to move across country. My desk and file cabinets are empty, and the boxes are everywhere. Books are on the floor while bookshelves sit empty.
But if you asked me for something specific, I’m pretty sure I could find it. I would know where to look. That may not be the case immediately after I arrive at my new destination and the movers leave, but after a week or two, I’ll be feeling confident again.
But, but – what about clutter?
That’s bad, right?
It’s a mixed bag. Research has shown that messy desks promote creativity while tidy desks promote conformity. A pristine environment may promote more healthy behaviors, but a cluttered environment can stimulate diverse thinking.
Clutter is a matter of personal preference. It can make some anxious, but for others, clutter can be comforting. Extreme cases, of course, exist on both ends of the spectrum. You have the hoarders and you have the Konmari tribe.
I’m not talking about them, I’m talking about you.
Your comfort level will be related to how you were raised. If you grew up in a cluttered home, that is what will be comfortable. Or, the exact opposite can happen. That cluttered childhood is your motivation for order. It’s OK to make peace with how you operate best, and create a space that supports you.
Remember, organized is an inside job, orderly is an outside job. It’s a beautiful thing when they work together.
I invite you to consider your surroundings. Can you find what you need when you need it?