A Sense of Order

Today is another beautiful cold, sunny day in February with most of us working from home, none of us sure when we will be able to resume our “normal life” again. With these feelings of overwhelm caused by circumstances beyond our control we crave order more and more.

Let’s explore.

What is order?

Definition of order = the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method.

Sounds complicated, but it is not. Here is the straightforward version. Let’s keep what we love and use, group like items together and give everything a home. Done!

So why do we struggle so much?

Most of us buy too much and then feel guilty about it. When we get home we realize we don’t have space to house the newly purchased item and so it will either stay in the bag (never to come out again) or will be squished into a drawer with lots of other purchases and die a slow death. As we are constantly at home now, and are surrounded by our “shopping mistakes”, we feel even more lost and angry. No better time than today to change that.

Why be organized?

An organized environment helps us to focus better. The first success in the morning is to make our bed! We feel better instantly. Try it! Do the same in the bathroom. Once you have finished your morning routine you put all your lotions, brushes, make-up etc. where they belong, preferably in a container in your vanity. If it doesn’t fit it means you have too much – as simple as that. You need to pare down.

Morning Routines

When you go to your kitchen to make yourself some coffee or tea, you do the same thing. You clean up and put the things you used away. That means putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher, wiping the counter and putting coffee beans or tea bags away. Any task taking 2 minutes or less needs be done right away. No delaying. Delaying is the best friend of clutter and mess. If you have to remove lots of dishes to get to the things you need then you have to rearrange your items, and maybe part with some of your possessions. It is really important to think about how you live (or want to live) and what things you need at your fingertips. Things you use all the time have to be easily accessible. Things you realize you don’t need can be sold on FB Marketplace or Kijiji or donated. Items that don’t fit either category can be moved higher up and to the back of the cabinet. Evaluate again in 4 weeks and see whether you have changed your mind, if so, donate these items so they can be enjoyed by someone else.

Order as a new life concept

There is an immediate emotional and psychological payoff to getting our houses in order. We might not be able to control what’s happening externally in our lives but we can learn to look to our own inner resources for a sense of comfort that nurtures and sustains.

If you feel constantly adrift but don’t know why, be willing to explore the role that order – or the lack of it – plays in your life. Nobody can think clearly when constantly surrounded by clutter, chaos, and confusion, no matter who is responsible for it. Begin to think of order not as a straitjacket of “should” (make the bed, wash the dishes, take out the garbage) but as a shape – the foundation – for the beautiful new life you are creating. It may be as simple as putting something back that you take out, hanging something up that you take off, or teaching those who live with you that they must do the same for the common good of all.

Excerpt from Simple Abundance: A daybook of comfort and joy – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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