“I’m too tired.” That was the response of a speech attendee when I asked what kept people from putting things away on a regular basis.
For years I’ve navigated through spaces littered with clothing, papers, and objects that had not been put away. I was curious about how that happened because not putting things away would be difficult for me. My mother taught me the importance of keeping my room neat and our house neat. It was no big deal for me because I did it every day and there was never any big mess to deal with.
I’ve heard the “I’m too tired” response over and over again from clients. This time instead of being understanding and sympathetic I asked the class to look at the reality of the energy that would be expended by hanging up their clothes every night. “It takes seconds to hang up or fold clothes and put them in a drawer,” I said. Seconds that could prevent a clutter nightmare from forming or from getting any bigger.
I guess the real questions are, “What do you want?” and “What are you creating?” Going for the immediate gratification of dropping things where they land instead of putting them away gives you a short term reward while creating a long-term problem. If you want your space and your life to be more peaceful, your space must feel peaceful. A space with the litter of life shouting from all corners screams of negative energy and creates feelings of overwhelm and self-contempt.
If you have difficulty making yourself put things away and maintain order, clearly your tired self is winning over the self who wants a peaceful, comfortable space. What if you felt tired and put things away anyway? How would that change the feeling in your space? What would your efforts do for you? How would your energy be affected?
Making yourself invest a few minutes a day to maintain order can be a tangible way to take care of yourself, ground yourself, and help you connect with your personal power. It’s a way to communicate to yourself that you matter.
You are not separate from the space you live in. If it’s a mess, so are you. If it’s well maintained, you’ll have more access to your own wisdom, energy and feelings of well-being. Those are pretty good results for investing a few minutes per day to put things away!