Restoring Order

Restoring Order

The New Year is renowned for setting goals. It’s a time to re-evaluate, prioritize and determine what we hope to accomplish over the next twelve months.

If becoming organized is one of your goals maybe these few ideas will be just the jump-start you need.

We can find ourselves languishing and wilting in disorganization, perhaps even becoming anxious and depressed due to our environment. And the mere thought of trying to get organized is overwhelming.

We know we would thrive in an organized environment where we label and sort and challenge ourselves in making our spaces practical and aesthetically pleasing.

But where do we start?

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33

We can see throughout Scripture that God is a God of order. Whether it was the Creation of the universe, the making of the Ark, the design and construction of the human body, the Ordo salutis {order of salvation}, the structure of church discipline, the life, death and resurrection of Christ and His eventual return. It is all done in a specific order.

And we know order doesn’t just happen. It’s intentional. To be good stewards over what God has given to us, we too must be intentional if we hope to become organized.

“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” ~ 1 Corinthians 4:2

Step 1

Decide where to start. Is it the pantry? A bedroom closet? A vehicle? Perhaps it’s the bag or purse you carry every day?

For an example let’s choose the bedroom closet.

Start by emptying the closet. Empty every shelf, every box, every nook and cranny. Put all of the items in a location where you can see what you have and are able to sort through it.

Step 2

Once the closet is emptied; dust, vacuum, sweep, knock down cobwebs, change light bulbs, whatever housekeeping needs to be accomplished, do it while it’s completely empty and you have access to get it done.

Step 3

Sort the items into designated piles such as: keep, trash, donate, sell, and recycle.

For some people this process moves right along but for others it can be the place they get stuck.

You may need to ask yourself a few questions:

Would I buy this item today?

If not, it’s time to discard it.

Do I use it?

If it’s been a significant amount of time and you haven’t used it, it’s likely time to discard it. The only exception may be items that are specifically for emergency situations or special occasions.

Is it something I want my children to have in the future?

Be discriminative on what you are keeping for your children or others. Perhaps even inquire on their mindset about the items you want to pass along to them. Allow them to give you honest feedback. You may be surprised by their responses.

Is there a hassle factor you’ll need to take into account? Is it broken, needs repaired or mended? Can it be done timely?

It may be may require more time and effort than it’s worth and it’s time to discard it.

Is it expired?

Trash.

Torn or stained?

Trash or recycle.

The wrong size?

Donate.

Are you keeping it because someone gave it to you but you’ll never use it?

Donate or sell. Allow someone to have it that will use it.

Is it an item that brings you joyful or bad memories?

We might be surprised at what we hang on to that is actually counterproductive.

Step 4

Once you have sorted your items into their designated piles, do your best to distribute them immediately.

Take the trash to the trash bin.
Take the donations to the donation site. Be sure to document your items for tax purposes.
Take the items to sell to the consignment shop.
Take the recycling to the recycling site.

This will reduce the chances of these items finding their way back into your closet or cluttering up another part of your household.

Step 5

Addressing the ‘keep’ pile.

The closet is cleaned and sorted. Now is the time to find a home for all of the items you plan to keep.

This is where many people will run out of steam. They just want to shove the items back into the closet haphazardly and shut the door. But this is where it’s important to finish the task you’ve started.

Organize the items for practical use. Put like items together. Put the items used most often in an easily accessible area. Put the items used the least towards the back or upper shelves.

It may take a few tries to get the logistics right so don’t get discouraged if things need moved around a bit to fit the space.

It may be encouraging to take before and after photos as a visual reminder of what can be accomplished once you set our mind to it.

So how do we keep an area from becoming disorganized again?

As was mentioned earlier, order doesn’t just happen, it has to be intentional, and so does keeping order.

What prevents us from putting things where they belong?

Is it a time constraint? Is it a lazy attitude or one of indifference?

Taking five minutes now to put an item where it goes will save time and frustration in the future.

This process will work for almost any space you want to get organized.

Once the closet is organized, move to organizing the dressers, then under the bed and so forth. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire room organized and a system in place to keep it that way.

And should things get out of hand if life throws us a curve ball, we’ll know where to start to bring order once again.

“But all things should be done decently and in order.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:40

If I can help with questions or suggestions or as a sounding board for ideas, feel free to send me an email.

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