Christmas Boy and I both play poker, but he's great at it and I struggle. It reminds me of when I work with clients and they have a hard time understanding why I'm good at organizing and they struggle with it. Organization is a bit like poker in that the concepts of poker are very simple, but mastery can be a real challenge.
To be great at poker, you need to possess specific skill sets and put in lots of practice. Getting organized and staying that way over time is similar. The concepts are simple but the actual implementation and maintenance can be a challenge.
The concepts include
- Being mindful and aware of how much you have and your own behaviors
- Clearing excess from your life on a regular basis
- Grouping items into categories that make sense to you
- Creating a home for everything you own
- Completing the circle of use by putting things away after you use them
The most important item on the list is the only one that isn't a physical action. Being mindful and aware of what you own and what's occupying your physical and mental space is purely intangible, but without it, no action can happen and positive change is impossible.
Once you're in the habit of mindful awareness of your space and your own habits, the physical aspects of organization are very simple but they require practice to become second-nature. Whether it's cleaning out your closet twice a year, or simply remembering to clean up after every meal, creating new habits is the best practice and the only way to change the chaos into organization.