Being and staying organised is a popular goal for many. That is unsurprising given that having a space free of clutter and junk can, more often than not, improve one’s mood and lead to feelings of accomplishment. A Navy SEAL, Adm. McRaven, once famously explained at the University of Texas, Austin, that making your bed allows you to accomplish the first task of the day. This small sense of pride also encourages you to keep completing more tasks. It also reinforces the fact that little things matter in life.
As you can see, being organised is healthy for your mind and can also push you to become more productive and efficient. Our environment is often a reflection of our mental state. In order to reap the benefits of being organised, you should first set a standard or benchmark for you to work towards. Whose sense of organisational skills do you aspire towards? Is it someone famous on television, a close friend, or your mother?
With the expectation set, why not find out how that person organises? You can search for resources online or ask them personally if possible. Afterwards, start to actively sort out your belongings. Resist the urge to procrastinate and put things off till tomorrow. In fact, be hands-on about it and take the time and energy to look through your stuff, sorting it by essentials, disposables, and things you can donate to charity. Make it a weekly or monthly habit instead of a one-off activity. Buying boxes and containers can also help to motivate you to store things neatly as you go, instead of tossing it wherever’s convenient.
Lastly, you need to be receptive to emotions as we often attach sentimental value to items. Are you comfortable throwing a souvenir from your graduation trip away? How about that sweater from someone who has passed, or the necklace from an ex-lover? While the item may have no practical value, it may still be difficult to discard. Some people may be able to overcome such feelings and do what is practical, but for those of you who are soft-hearted, having a separate box for such memorabilia will allow you to preserve these memories without having them take up too much space.
At the end of the day, view the act of organising as a time to detox and purify your mind. Like how a body rids itself of impurities, you can detoxify your mind just by making your living space a little more liveable.