Day 57: Organizing Your Mind

Lately, we have seen many organizing experts talk about your internal reasons for being disorganized.  They talk about you studying your attachment to things.  They refer to your unnatural love of things.  They even talk about your hidden pain points.  I think it goes much deeper.  I believe that if you don’t organize your mind, you will not organize your house.

Here’s the news:  the reason why you are disorganized is the same reason why you pick up and then it gets messy two days later.  It has nothing to do with the latest gadget or your fascination with a clean house.  It has everything to do with you and your motives.

I will use myself as a guinea pig.  I love books.  I have books all over my house.  My biggest pain point is my book collection.  I know where my obsession comes from.  As a little girl, I remember the wall of books in my house.  I also know that even though we could take the books out of the shelf, it was not a good idea to keep them off the shelf for long.  And more importantly, we had to make sure they went back to the same spot.  The little rebel in me could not wait to have her own place and just keep books wherever I wanted for as long as I wanted.

Although that explained the books, it did not explain much else.  Why am I the messy one?  I love decorating and yet, I cannot keep a neat house.  I’m not attached to anything other than my books, so what is with this disaster I have in my current apartment?

I need to get to the root of it or else I will keep going from room to room and by the time I clean the living room, the kitchen will be a mess again.  In the next few weeks I will share my insights as I discover why I behave this way.

What about you?  Do you know why you are messy?  Are you a hoarder?  Do you just have one area in your house that is not neat or does your entire house need help?  Leave a comment below.

Day 6 Be Mindful

One of the biggest secrets that has taken a long time to sink in is that we should be mindful of every moment.  Some times, in our list setting, goal achieving world, we get so busy that we forget to enjoy the small stuff.  And at the end of your life you realize it is the small stuff that matters.

I give you an example.  Sundays is always family day.  We don’t always go out, but we try to spend the day together.  Last Sunday we took a ride to a nearby beach town.  It was a little chilly when we got there and our biggest expense was the parking lot.  We went out with our cameras and set up to catch some unique pictures.  We loved being near the ocean.  The thrill of the day was to see our daughter take some amazing pictures.  We let her go at it, knowing full well that she might like some pictures and she might not get the perfect shot.  It was not about that.  It was about spending some time together and watch her go at it.

There was no organizing a trip, packing snacks, or anything of the sort.  In fact to the casual observer, this was a spur of the moment thing.  The truth is we had decided on Wednesday where we were going on Sunday.  We could have planned it all to the last second.  Instead, we went with the flow.  I said I wanted to get home by 2PM.  We got here at 3:00PM.  I was not mad or discouraged.   I was relaxed, enjoying the moment.

Here I give you a little sample for you to enjoy of our day yesterday.

Little Black Wing taking still shots of surfers at the beach
Little Black Wing taking still shots of surfers at the beach

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or for her full portfolio, you can check it out here and see all her work of the last few years.

Day 3 You Define You

As I move towards organizing my apartment and my life, I have come across the concept of what defines me.  This is a very important concept because I think I am not the only one who thinks that our possessions define us.  This is why people sometimes feel the need to keep up with the Joneses as it were.  You must be aware that your possessions don’t define you, you define you.

You are not your things.  The car you drive, the place where you live and the job you have are not what make you.  What makes you is a lot more than that.  The other day on Facebook somebody was talking about only your skills had any value.  I disagree.  If you are not a good person, your level or skill is unimportant.  Why?  Because you can be the best surgeon in the planet and if you don’t care for your patients, they will never heal.  There is an element of the process that depends on the caring profession.  If you don’t give them what they need mentally or at the level of heart, your expertise will be wasted.  This is true in every profession.  You can be the best chef in the planet, if there is no soul in your food, it will not be the same as your mom’s cooking on a Sunday afternoon, no matter how fancy your dish is.  It will also not bring you any fulfillment, so think about it.

I, for one, have a fear of becoming a hoarder in my old age.  This is why when I moved to Florida, I decided to do a little experiment.  I came here with one piece of luggage and $1500.  At first, my daughter and I had an apartment contract and nothing else.  We lived on inflatable mattresses and we had two chairs, one bookshelf and two pans, two dishes and three cups.  That was pretty much it.  The first six months we did not have much, and we liked it.  Now, four years later, the apartment is overflowing.  So we decided to have a purchase law.  No more clothes and goodies for six months.  We are also getting rid of extra things.  What is the purpose?  To use up what we already have before shopping for more.

We are both writers.  We have all these notebooks.  We can’t buy any more notebooks until we use up the ones we have here.  The same goes for art supplies, cameras, clothes, shoes and everything else.  Don’t take me wrong;  we have a sofa that needs replacing and we are lacking several pieces of furniture.  The point is that we need to figure out what we really have so that then we can plan what we need.

This is part of the process of organizing, discovering what we are about, what we really need to then find a place for everything.  I expect that it will take us a little while to figure it out.  I hope it will help others figure it out to.  Just keep in mind that your stuff does not define you.  Until you figure that out, you will collect a lot of things you really don’t need.  If they are in good condition, consider spreading the wealth by giving it away to those who need it.

So what does your possessions say about you?  Leave your comments below.