After writing two consecutive articles touching on the spiritual, it’s time for a breather and peruse on the practical. I have already revealed my first new year’s resolution which is: Be punctual.

This time I will explain my second resolution: Be organized.

Have you ever rummaged through your mountain of laundry and can’t identify which clothes are clean and which are dirty? You then apply the sniffing test but flunk because your armpit and Downy smell the same.

Have you been forced to watch Willing Willie instead of the news on TV because you can’t find the remote control to switch channels?

` If your room is a mess and you can’t find what you’re looking for in 3 minutes or less, you are disorganized!

We are in a culture of materialism and the urge to buy is the new high. After the plague of the alcoholics come the modern scourge of the shopaholics. When clutter enters the front door, peace and happiness fly out of the window.

You might share the same dilemma with Sharon Cuneta who once said that her bedroom resembles a warehouse with a bed in the middle. She has since transferred to a new home, so I presume the mess is now less.

My definition of clutter is an unhealthy relationship with material things. We buy stuff and gadgets to fill a need in our life. Shopping bring temporary relief from our misery. But it also creates in its wake new problems, such as debt and disorder. Our space is not expanding but our things are multiplying. The clutter problem must be getting out of control because storage space leasing is now a big business in the US. Professional organizers also command a hefty fee.

Being disorganized is not just about things. The worst form of clutter is mental. When you crowd in too many commitments and you let negative thoughts play basketball in your mind, you are disorganized mentally. Add to that your chaotic surroundings, and be not surprised why your hair is thinning, your skin is wrinkling and your bones are aching. You are aging as rapidly as the floodwaters of Ondoy. That is stress!

Like smoking, being disorganized can be hazardous to your health. Stress can cause headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure and heart disease. It can rob us of the joy of life. A disorganized office or home can cause us to waste valuable hours that steal our time for enjoyment. When we are tired and frustrated, our personal and family life suffer. Why should our loved ones endure suffering which can be overcome by determination and discipline?

Organization is a habit we need to learn to stay sane. Begin in the area where it bothers you most. Organize your time by doing only the work you can reasonably accomplish. Set time limits and delegate tasks. Be strict about accepting appointments and invitations.

Organize your space by putting everything in its proper place. Clutter happens when you use things and don’t put them back immediately where they belong.

Be an intelligent buyer. Buy only what you need, not what’s on sale. Things that are no longer useful are called junk. Discard. Souvenirs and sentimental leftovers are fodder for rats. Dispose.

Organization is a matter of decision. The time and effort spent in being organized is medication for a healthy heart and a peaceful soul. When you have mastered this good habit, things that give only passing pleasure no longer appeal to you. You will happily realize that only those things that have eternal value attract and fascinate you.

Now you have absolutely no excuse.. to buy another pair of expensive shoes!


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