On Keeping Order

posted in: Essays 0

If you are interested in keeping things in order, you might think that once you finally get a system going (that is, once you’ve sorted, weeded and stored items or ideas, etc.), you won’t have to worry about things falling out-of-order. Right? Not quite. The fact that you organized items probably means that you are interested in interacting with these items on a regular basis in the near future, and thus will need to keep some sort of order…

What’s the secret to keeping items in order? Is it a hidden, magical secret that is only accessible to a few? Yes and no. Keeping items in order involves both hard work and determination. In my opinion, the key to keeping any type of order is maintenance.

Maintenance has a bit of a notorious reputation in that it tends to be frequently overlooked, conveniently forgotten, or blatantly ignored. Why? Simply because at its truest essence, maintenance requires a lot of time, energy and commitment.

Maintaining order requires a conscious decision to regularly straighten/tidy up items. What’s more, you then have to act on that decision and physically move items over here, over there and so on. Maintaining order isn’t easy —just look at the word’s origins:

maintain |mānˈtān|

ORIGIN Middle English (also in the sense [practice (a good or bad action) habitually] ): from Old French maintenir, from Latin manu tenere ‘hold in the hand.’

Yep, that’s right. When it comes to maintenance, you’ve literally got to keep items in hand on a regular basis.

Note: Dictionary used for reference is The New Oxford American Dictionary, Version 2.1.3 (80.4), Apple Inc., Copyright 2005-2009.

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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