The philosopher Immanuel Kant once said "wisdom is organized life." The word philosophy means "love of wisdom." So, philosophy is really just the love of organized life. But, can philosophy really help you get organized? I think it can.
Getting organized is more than re-arranging things. It involves a change of your thinking and a willingness to look beneath the surface to the reasons you are currently unorganized and the reasons you want to change. And, philosophy can help with this examination. Here are some questions to ask as you begin to organize.
1. Why am I disorganized? The answers to this question will lay a foundation for becoming more organized. While beneficial, simply re-arranging things and getting rid of clutter will not make you organized. Figuring out why you're disorganized will allow you to come up with solutions that will help you get organized and then stay organized.
2. What are my organizational goals? This question is important inasmuch as it allows you to reflect on your intrinsic motivation for becoming more organized. It is important that these be your goals, not someone else's. You will have more success in getting organized if you have your own reasons for doing so. And, with a set of goals in mind you can begin to prioritize and work towards these goals in small manageable steps. Try to establish a few short and long term goals. By achieving a few of your short term goals you will be fueled by success to continue working towards your longer term goals and not become overwhelmed by the entire process.
3. How can I use habits I already have to get organized? You may discover that you can harness some habits you already have to help you achieve your organizational goals. Do you always leave your keys in the same place? Do you always toss your dirty laundry in one particular corner of the bedroom? These habits might be used to help you get organized.
4. Continue asking questions. A story was often told about Thomas Edison that help illustrate the insight that getting organized is not a finite project but a continuing pursuit. He would pick up an item and hand it to one of his assistants and say "There's a better way, find it." This relentless pursuit of a better way of doing things is a useful mindset to have for organizing. Look at how you do things such as laundry, paying bills, whatever, with the same mindset: there's a better way to do this, I just need to find it.
5. Have fun! Getting organized doesn't have to be a dreary chore. If you think of it this way you're certain to have trouble achieving your goals. Try to approach organizing like a game. See how many days in a row you can put your keys where they belong. See how many days in a row you can... Make your own games. Most of all celebrate your small victories and take note of how they make you feel. Enjoy the benefits of becoming more organized. These will motivate you to continue.