By Caroline Bujold
I’m organized, that’s not a secret, but why? Why is it important for me to implement systems and stick to a routine? What experiences, upbringing or talents contribute to my organized personality? If you want to know me better, keep reading.
1. I hate cleaning
Oh how many ways can I tell you how much I hate cleaning? That’s usually a surprise to most people. I don’t like housework in general. I’m a champion at extending food, because I’d rather do something else than have to go grocery shopping.
Some people find cleaning cathartic, not me. I certainly enjoy the finished product, but having to dust, scrub, wipe and vacuum is such a drag. I still don’t understand how two people can manufacture so much dust in one week.
One of the reasons why I have systems in place is mainly because I don’t want to declutter or tidy all the time. So I figure if we have fewer objects lying about and a mostly organized home, there is less to maintain and clean.
Tricked myself into it – I hate cleaning so much that, in an effort to make things less painful, I’ve started to listen to podcasts while I clean. It makes time go by faster and I learn a thing or two in the process. Here are some of my favourites: Note to Self, Ted Radio Hour and Radiolab.
If you have any interesting podcasts to suggest, please send me a note.
2. Sorting clears my mind
Cleaning is gross. But sorting? Sorting is fun and usually creates a sense of Fresh Start.
Funny I never felt the urge to organize other people’s stuff, not until recently anyway.
I’ve often found that the process of organizing helps me clear my mind. I still revert to sorting when I’m stuck on something. I’ll clean my inbox, or unload the dishwasher. It doesn’t have to take long, but just long enough so the repetition loosens the grip on my thoughts. It’s like the action of tidying physical items helps untangle my mind, or at least helps me focus on something else, leaving my neurons to sort themselves out.
Try this – Try sorting next time you’re stuck on something or pondering less than happy thoughts.
3. I’m not particularly skilled at DIYing
There is a common association between organizing and DIYing on the Internet. Although I might create something once in a while, I’m really not that crafty, which is sort of ironic since we (read my husband) did most of the renovations and upgrades here. I don’t have much of a green thumb. Cooking is OK, but I prefer making a quick sandwich or scrambled eggs than spending hours cooking a meal, which is to say I’m not really what you would call a homemaker.
So you won’t see many DIY posts here. Don’t get me wrong, I love to look at all the pretty things on Instagram and Pinterest, but I’d much rather get a plastic bin from a store to organize certain items than spend hours decorating a cute box or the inside of drawers.
Motto – It doesn’t have to be pretty; it just needs to work … fast.
4. Being late makes me anxious
One of my biggest fears is missing a flight or an important event because I’m late. Fortunately my husband is the same, so we travel well together. If you’re like me though and you’ve ever travelled with someone that likes to arrive at the airport or go to the gate as close to departure time as possible, you know how unbearable that can be.
In my mind, for society to work, trains and planes need to leave on time; movies, shows and meetings also have to start at a specific moment. Similarly, businesses follow a schedule and truthfully, being late is disrespectful.
My schedule doesn’t have to be rigid, but I figure I can do my own little part to make the world go round and alleviate my own stress.
Reduce stress – So I try to be on time as much as I can and being organized makes that part easier for sure.
5. Moving made me want to have less
When I was 17, my mom got transferred to Montreal and I went to College away from home at the same time. The childhood home where all of my “treasures“ had lived so far was now home to someone else. So my boxes contained more than just what I needed for school. For a time I had a few things stored at my mom’s apartment, but soon enough I collected my belongings and they followed me around.
From then on I moved more than a dozen times within a few years. I didn’t mind moving, but after enough times of packing and unpacking boxes, you start seriously questioning the content and part with possessions that are just dragging you down.
Here’s a thought – Moving is one of the best opportunities for decluttering.
6. I use lunchtime to multitask
Since I work from home I figure I might as well use my “break time“ to tackle something. So when lunchtime comes, I usually reheat leftovers or make something quick and watch a show I’ve recorded. Once I’m done eating which doesn’t take long, I might fold clothes or tidy up the kitchen while the show is still on.
Multitasking that won’t fry your brain – Just like listening to podcasts while cleaning, that’s multitasking I can live with.
7. My planner is my bible
And phone alerts are my saviour. Without those two tools, I’d probably forget half of what I want to do and be late to many appointments. Writing things down in my planner also helps me remember better. That’s how I studied in University; merely reading was not enough for me to remember.
Use tools that work for you – Using my planner and my phone also frees my mind to focus on other more important issues, like what to make for supper and where to go on our next vacation 🙂 .
8. I’m stubborn tenacious … and a quitter
Once I set my mind on something, I usually feel compelled to finish it. That’s how I got through all the Red Cross swimming levels from the Yellow to the White Badge, or whatever they’re called these days.
Like any list maker, I find satisfaction in checking something off my list. Sometimes, I’ll even take the time to write something down in my planner, just to check it off (guilty!).
But I’m also an awesome quitter.
If I start reading a book and I’m not able to get into the story, I just quit reading it and pass it to someone else. When I try something new and I’m not having fun with it (oh hello DIY!), I’m OK, never attempting that again. Likewise, if I judge that a task is “good enough“ I don’t necessarily keep on going just because. Making things perfect is definitely not part of my DNA.
You could say I’m detail oriented, but not detailed obsess. There comes a point, in my mind, where you are just fussing over something that is perfectly good and functional.
Find balance – Finding the balance between following through and knowing when to quit is where I’m most successful at getting things done.
What are your reasons for being organized? What made you that way? What personality quirks could you use to help you along this journey?