The Quest for Less #2: ORDERING

I know I took a quick detour for a bit there, with a couple of voice posts and my big list of 100 tips for the 100th post, but it’s time to get back on track.

It’s really easy to be a slob. Seriously. I could do it every day without effort. Looking around me right now, I see a bunch of scattered papers for a bunch of projects that I haven’t quite gotten around to doing yet; I know that there’s laundry that has yet to be folded over in the next room, and don’t even get me started on my bedroom—by the time I get in there every night, I’m too tired to give a care about keeping it in order. It just seems to be easier to just try and take care of one thing in life at a time and not worry about all the menial tasks of keeping things in order.

But is this the better way to live?

We all prioritize our lives differently.

Being a slob? That’s simple. But it doesn’t gain you anything…:

  • Things will be hard to find and you waste time looking for them
  • You don’t have any peace/tranquility in your home because you’re so distracted by all the stuff around you—this can lead to a feeling of stress that can extend to areas of your life outside of your home
  • You can’t really have anyone over, and if you have to, your energies end up being spent trying to hurriedly put things in some sort of randomized order

No, being a slob is definitely easier for the short term, but the saying “short-term pain = long-term pain” always works inversely as well:

“Short-term gain = Long-term pain”

If you don’t do something about it now—yes, RIGHT NOW—it will be an issue that only further develops as time passes.

It’s always difficult to take the first step, but I’ve put together a list of some quick tips and tools that might be able to get you started:

  • Instapaper: I’ve talked about this one already—it lets you convert articles and sites into pages you can read later; you can download them onto your iOS device while it’s online for reading while it’s offline
  • Springpad: You can quickly bookmark and categorize items like Delicious would let you do; but this is a lot slicker in design and gives you more options for what you can do with the links you’ve stored
  • Freemind: Mind-mapping software to easily sort your various ideas out—this one’s good for people like me who tend to write lots of things on little scraps of paper
  • CardStar: This one’s pretty cool; on your phone, you can register your numbers for your cards—library, Air Miles, etc.—and if it has a barcode on the system, you can use it INSTEAD of the card. Definitely a space-saver for me.
  • If you’re on a PC, Notepad++ is awesome for organizing multiple text files or snippets that you might have lying around — TextWrangler is what you’re going to have to go with if