It’s true what they say: clutter breeds clutter. There are so many of us who dream of running a less chaotic household or struggle to remember what our office desk looks like. We crave order, yet at the same time resist due to the negative connotations attached to being perfectly organized.
There are many who believe being perfectly organized is like believing in unicorns: it’s just not going to happen. There are also misconceptions that being “organized” means being a control freak or a neat freak. That if you prefer to organize the food in your fridge a specific way, you’re not being efficient, you’re being OCD. That you’re not truly enjoying your life because you’re focusing on mundane details you “shouldn’t” consider important.
I’m here to say that’s a huge pile of crap! As someone who’s gone from chaotic and spontaneous to organized and efficient, there are so many benefits to the latter this topic could be turned into a self-help book. The top three benefits of being perfectly organized are:
- Not being in a permanent state of “catch-up” decreases your stress level by 10,000 percent and increases your self-esteem by the same amount.
- You’re able to work less and accomplish more.
- You always know where your keys are!
By being perfectly organized, you’re respecting your most valuable commodity: time. It helps you accomplish all you set out to, both professionally and personally. It gives you the freedom to be exactly who you are and live a life of minimal stress, not to mention how much more enjoyable the present moment becomes.
If you’d like to feel this way too, here are 12 habits of perfectly organized people I’ve observed, read about, and am currently attempting to execute:
1. They know who they want to be.
Perfectly organized people have an exact definition of how they want their life to be – from how they want their home to look, to how they want to dress, to how they spend their time – which makes it a lot easier to set goals and feel a sense of accomplishment.
2. They know how to say, “No.”
Because they know exactly what they want, it’s easier for them to say, “No”: when they’re offered a work project or invited to a social gathering that doesn’t advance their lifestyle in some way, they’re able to decline with confidence and aren’t easily swayed by societal pressure.
3. They’re mindful shoppers.
Just because something’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Perfectly organized people always ask themselves, “Do I really need this?” before every purchase. Not only does this help keep your budget intact, it pushes you away from using instant gratification as a tool to cope with rough patches.
4. They’ve let go of their perfectionism.
If you try to do everything perfectly, it goes without saying you’ll feel like a constant disappointment. Perfectly organized people channel their perfectionist tendencies into their most important tasks – work assignments, remodeling their home, exercising – and with tasks that aren’t a priority, they do what they have to do to get the job done.
5. They don’t believe in labeling anything “miscellaneous.”
Though they don’t have much to store due to their minimalist nature, when perfectly organized people do store items, they specifically label and index where everything can be found. Their bills are specifically filed, and their Christmas decorations are specifically cataloged.
6. They separate emotions from possessions.
They don’t attach sentimental value to everything they own. For example, I still have my three favorite stuffed animals from when I was a kid, but not my entire collection. (I’m a big kid now!)
7. What they don’t need, they don’t own.
They don’t buy anything until they know it’s something they’re going to use right away or in the near future. From personal experience, there’s no worse feeling than cleaning an item more than you enjoy it. Trust me, you won’t miss the dusting. At all.
8. They clean as they go.
Instead of waiting for the dishes to pile or the recycling to take itself out, the perfectly organized carve out chunks of time to maintain their lifestyle. This might sound like a drag, but there’s no better feeling than having time off, and not having to spend it running errands or cleaning, since they’re already taken care of.
9. They understand the power of one.
One checking account. One savings account. One credit card. One email address. Perfectly organized people understand that consolidation and simplicity equals more freedom.
10. When it comes to planning, they’re all about the details.
Perfectly organized people don’t just plan in advance: they plan way in advance, and they plan in detail. Sure, their to-do lists look like scrolls, but it’s only because they’ve broken down each of their tasks into manageable mini-tasks. Not only does this make each goal less overwhelming, it also helps you foresee any potential conflicts that could get in the way of your end result. BAM!
11. They don’t procrastinate.
Because of how much respect they have for their time, perfectly organized people don’t procrastinate, and they have no reason to: because of their maintain-as-they-go, to-do-list-Zorroing way of life, there’s no need to.
12. They believe in quality over quantity.
To perfectly organized people, quantity equals clutter. They’d rather be surrounded by a minimal amount of items, all of which they use, enjoy, and actually have time to take care of properly. Professionally, they’d rather streamline their focus into a specialty where they can thrive, instead of working in more than one area and completing mediocre work.
Do you strive to be perfectly organized? Why, or why not?