In my continued attempt to live simply but smartly as a way to introduce minimalism into my life (still a Pinoy minimalist wannabe here), I’ve embraced some organizing rules that have been very effective in making my life easier. Here are five that I live and swear by:
1. Designate a place for your stuff and always return your stuff to their designated places after use. I used to be burara (sloven), but after getting tired of and disappointed with myself for being one, I strove to be organized for my own good. I started by assigning a place for my things so I’d know where to find them when I need them. I also made sure to return these things to their designated places after using them. I told myself that if I wanted to be a Pinoy minimalist, then I should start to be organized with my things. Before I could lessen or minimize them, I better start keeping them in order first.
Nowadays, it is very seldom that I ask my husband where my stuff are. Some good examples of those are my comb, nail cutter, and workout clothes. The practice of returning things to where they’re supposed to be has made me happy because I feel like I have full control of them. Plus, no more headache for when I’m in a hurry and I need something right away to save my day. It takes discipline, yes, but it’s certainly doable through repetition. I challenge you to try it for yourself (if you haven’t yet) and perhaps, before you know it, it has already become a good habit of yours, too!
2. Make time for decluttering. In Bacoor, I declutter my closet twice a year. The hubby cleans the refrigerator manually once a month. We do a general cleaning of our marital home every other month. The hubby is good with scheduling tasks; there are even times when he’d remind me about my cleaning schedules (I tend to be forgetful!). We really make time for decluttering because we both believe it’s essential in keeping our house in order. Decluttering also means we get to dispose stuff that need to be thrown away or given out to those who need them more.
Decluttering is quite liberating for me. And because the hubby and I live in a tiny house, I feel like I can breathe better with less clutter. Aside from the sense of freedom decluttering gives me, it allows me to focus on the more important things in life. Less clutter means less time to spend on cleaning. Less clutter means more space and more time to spend with your loved ones or with yourself doing activities that bring joy and meaning into your life.
The hubby, on the other hand, was born organized. He’s also very careful and protective of his things (borrowers, beware!). TMI but when we were still bf-gf, we fought a couple of times because of my not taking good care of his techie stuff after borrowing them. I used to justify my carelessness then. Like it- was-an-accident-so-it-was-not-my-fault kind of justification, hahaha. Anyway, I’m glad to have found a life partner that values cleanliness and orderliness at home and in life. That’s one less thing to take care of for someone trying to be a good homemaker like me.
3. Clean up well or don’t clean up at all. I dislike lukewarm enthusiasm and half-hearted efforts, may it be in the workplace or at home. Cleaning requires time and resources. When I want to do some cleaning, I try to clean up well or don’t clean up at all. This applies to cleaning small spaces, too, because for many people, the mere action of starting (on small cleaning tasks) is the way to go (more on this in rule no. 4).
I’m far from being a perfectionist but I always look forward to seeing the results of my cleaning. Hence, a little less than satisfactory is enough to take my positive spirits away. When I’m not in the mood to clean our pantry, for instance, I don’t push it and instead, just reschedule it. I have to be physically and psychologically ready when doing some cleaning so I could clean something thoroughly. Am I the only one? Raise your right hand if you’re like me!
4. If you want to finish something, start doing it. Start so you’ll get around to finishing something. If you don’t start, you won’t get anything done. Whenever I feel lazy at work but have deadlines to meet, I try to start on a particular task and stop working on it after making some progress. Then, I continue with it later with a surprisingly better attitude. Then I finish the task eventually, even ahead of deadline. It’s like I just used laziness as an excuse and it didn’t really exist in the first place. I think it’s because once you’ve started on something, you get motivated instantly by the output you’re about to make. And somehow you get excited by the possibilities of it all. It’s human nature, I guess. The reason why getting started is effective in boosting people’s productivity in every aspect of our life.
5. Do not be lazy. I have always believed that laziness is a choice. In the article entitled “The Psychology of Laziness” on PsychologyToday.com, laziness is defined as follows:
“A person is being lazy if he is able to carry out some activity that he ought to carry out, but is disinclined to do so because of the effort involved. Instead, he carries out the activity perfunctorily; or engages in some other, less strenuous or less boring activity; or remains idle. In short, he is being lazy if his motivation to spare himself effort trumps his motivation to do the right or expected thing.”
Between the hubby and me, I admit being the lazy one. I have this tendency to procrastinate especially during weekends when most of the time, all I want to do is do nothing, hahaha. I fight the powerful urge to get lazy by choosing not to be lazy. Believe me, it’s all in your mind. Perhaps, you’re just physically tired and need to rest first before moving your butt. Rest and when you have started feeling better, get up and work. Or maybe your mind is preoccupied with other things that you think require your attention more. Prioritize and focus on what needs to get done…and just do them!
I have always believed in the power of our mind. We make decisions every day and so we can always decide not to be lazy. This is not to say that we cannot afford to be lazy. We can always slow down and take a break. It’s just that we can always choose not to be lazy especially in situations where laziness is not an option, if you know what I mean.
We can always decide to get up on our feet and be productive. We can always choose to get a job instead of becoming a burden to others. We can always clean the house instead of leaving it in a messy state. The choice is always ours to make.
I’m still not as organized as the hubby but the organizing rules mentioned above have changed my perspective for the better. The different roles I play in life have been more manageable because I keep these reminders in mind. Who knows, maybe my sticking with these organizing rules (that work for me!) will make me a full-blown Pinoy minimalist one day!
Do you also follow some organizing rules that make your life easier? I would love to hear about them! 🙂
May you choose happiness always,