Organizing Gifts

This newsletter isn’t about organizing presents that people give you – it’s about benefiting from naturally occurring opportunities that help us become better organized.

Situations when things can't be found or put away because the space where they go is too full, or when others pressure you to clean up or clear out often provoke frustration, irritation, resistance, and stress. However, a better way to look at these occasions is that they are GIFTS.

Organizing gifts are opportunities to gain insight into how to make your immediate situation better, learn to organize better, and perhaps make your whole life better. You may not be happy about needing to do instant organizing, but taking advantage of large and small opportunities can make life much easier, especially if you look at the larger issue of system needs. To only be upset about the extra work is missing a precious opportunity.

Seeing Organizing Gifts When They Happen
Some organizing gifts occur on a seasonal or periodic basis:

Some organizing gifts result from outside pressures:

Some organizing gifts are created by internal pressure such as a desire for:

Many small gifts occur constantly:

Every function that doesn’t work as well as it should or could is a gift, a powerful message about where systems can be better, a clue that will help you figure out what needs to be done. Momentary inconvenience is a small price to pay for such a gift. Solving such problems reveals the benefits of thinking backwards – doing so helps you identify the underlying difficulty that must be resolved to solve the problem (mentally re-trace the steps that lead to this snafu).

Accepting the Gift
You have several choices when an organizing gift arises:

Being annoyed just means that the gift will be wasted. The original problem remains, but you will not receive any additional benefits. Acceptance lets you solve the problem without wasting time or energy on complaining, getting upset or angry, or procrastinating. Going beyond immediate needs to see the larger issues and use it to prevent similar problems in the future will improve life considerably.

Using Little Gifts
Tiny organizing opportunities pop up for all of us constantly:

Understanding the Gift
Specific messages are conveyed by not finding particular items:

 Using Big Gifts
Most of us have far too much stuff, even when we prune back on a regular basis. We acquire with little thought for the burden that this creates, progressively becoming more and more weighed down by our belongings. Organizing gifts encourage us to prune the over-growth, to unburden ourselves before we are lost in the tangle.

So while even small gifts provide opportunities to clear out and become free of the burden of too many possessions, large gifts, such as spring cleaning and visitors are often the most effective in this regard. They are so powerful that I recommend exploiting the heck out of them:

Every misplaced or unfindable item, every visit or event that causes a belongings-related crisis is telling you a story. If you listen and follow its guidance, your life will become easier and more manageable.

The more that you take advantage of small organizing gifts, the more that you are likely to prevent major crises that require huge organizing efforts, time, and postponing all other activities. You will also likely feel more secure, comfortable, and able to handle events and better about yourself. And your organizing skills will improve the more that you use them.


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© Gloria Valoris, 2015

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