When I was younger, I remember looking for my missing shoes when my mom asked me if I had looked in the closet for them. I must have given her a totally bewildered look in response; after all, unless someone else put them away, the last place I expected to find them was in the closet. Perhaps they would be on the floor on the landing or under the bed – but most likely not in my closet.

I’ve never been a neat and organized “type A” by nature – yet to a certain degree, I always felt I existed better in my own version of chaos. I understand my systems and I know (for the most part) the logical place (by my assertation) to find my belongings.

I go through phases – when I have the time, energy and motivation to do a massive “spring cleaning” I exert the effort to keep order in my home. Otherwise, I generally do the bare minimum to keep it up – do the dishes, clean the bathroom, do my laundry and throw away garbage as needed. In other words, my place may not always be totally organized, but it’s not dirty.

Mail is my worst enemy when it comes to keeping my place (and life) in order. Most days, I grab the mail on the way in from work when my hands are already full. It is the first thing to land on the table and often stays there for days on end. By the end of the week, the table is half covered in magazines, catalogs, credit card offers and bills.

As much as I hate to admit it, my life feels more together when it is in order. Surprisingly enough, by taking literally two minutes to make my bed in the morning, my room feels more peaceful and conducive to order.

I realized recently that I had let the first weeks of the year go – I was trying to sort through a few things personally and everything else just seemed, well, less important. Then I decided to take charge and put the pieces back in order. The chaos in my home extended to the chaos in my life – I needed a resurrection of routine. I needed to start eating actual meals again – not just a combination of whatever I could “prepare” in the shortest amount of time and with the fewest number of dishes. I needed to not sleep absurd amounts of hours on the weekend. I needed to keep lists of the errands that needed to be accomplished on the weekend and actually see that they were done. I needed to get back on budget and watch where my money was going. I needed to stop watching “The City” on DVR and start going back to the gym regularly.

I am a believer that when you take steps to “try at life,” good things come your way. I always feel like when I was living my life the fullest for myself that things (mostly) seemed to be better. We all deserve a few days (or weeks) to fall out of routine and mope about the things that aren’t going our way. But then, you need to wake up and think about what it is that you really want.

It might not seem like throwing away the junk mail and cooking a dinner (just for yourself) are the most exciting and life affirming things. But sometimes just making your bed can bring a little more order to an already chaotic day.

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