Something that people regularly comment on is my ability to stay organized. I don’t mean they’re necessarily complimenting me, either. I often hear, “You gotta let go a little” and “Gina, you can’t control everything.” But my mantra has always been and will continue to be- I’M SURE GONNA TRY. I once read a quote that said, “Over prepare and then go with the flow”. That resonated with me.
While I understand that wanting to control everything is not a good thing, I think more people would benefit from some serious Organization 101. If you’re gonna live your best life, you’re going to need to know what it’s gonna take to get there. Being organized will allow you to focus on the moment and not worry so much about what you may have forgotten. I pack my personal calendar with everything from work meetings to appointments, workouts to kiddie field trips. This way, I know when I leave in the morning if I should have my gym bag or if one of the car seats needs to be left alongside the kid. You can never have too many reminders.
Planning ahead is only one part of staying on top of things. There are so many other things that trickle into maintaining sanity. Staying on top of our ever-growing inboxes, continuing to cross off items from the home to do list and somehow keeping our living spaces… well, livable. I firmly believe in the power of maintenance organization.
Think about it. Living an organized life can’t happen when you allocate a few hours to it on the weekend. You’ve got to invest in the idea and practice every single day. Just like losing weight is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise- you can’t pack the punch you need by spending Saturday morning on the treadmill and make up from the meal mistakes you made during the week. You also can’t spend a burst of energy cleaning out the junk drawer of death or tackling the seven loads of laundry piled on the floor. You need to be on that treadmill frequently. You need to be washing those undies often.
One thing that gets in the way of living an organized life is clutter. Clutter in our minds, clutter in the junk drawer and clutter on our calendars. What can we GET RID OF? When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I try and purge a little. I task myself with finding five things I can donate or throw away. Even if it’s a paper clip or old pencil- IT COUNTS. There’s something cleansing about removing things from our spaces. That goes for the calendar, too. Is there anything you can purge? Can you ask your spouse to go to the grocery store instead of trying to fit it in your jam-packed week?
After I have a few of those crazed minimalistic moments, I’ve normally got a box of items to donate. I put it in my car (preferably the passenger seat) and I make sure to find time to drop it off the same week. Doing that small thing brings me a great deal of satisfaction. And that’s the key to it all: Getting the small rush that keeps things moving along.
I’m the queen of clean, the master of her calendar and the rigid bedtime follower. I find that with my personality type it’s best that I follow a schedule closely. For those of you that don’t need such a strict regimen, figure out an organization method that fits your lifestyle but still requires discipline. Just like anything worthwhile, becoming more organized takes practice. You might have to sacrifice one episode of the Netflix show you’re binge watching on Sunday to help ensure that you’ve got a little time to prepare for the week ahead. I guarantee that you will not regret it. Plus, you just prolonged that beloved show from being over by just a bit.