Long, long, long before beer bongs, man caves and NFL playoffs, we manly men acquired, our reputation for dishevelment, disorganization and utter disregard for order.
Perhaps being singularly, and largely visually, focused hunters instead of multitasking, produce-sorting gatherers way back when had something to do with it. Or testosterone. Or maybe we’re just clueless.
Two things are certain: disorganization diminishes your life and organization enhances it, in ways we’re still discovering.
Want to perform at the top of your game, increase your appeal to the fairer sex and, did I mention, recover three to six weeks of wasted time each year?
Here are 10 things every man should know about home organization:
1. Don’t Let The Stuff You Own, Own You
Can’t lose weight? No energy? Love life adrift? Living on junk food instead of cooking healthy? These are the warning signs that clutter is consuming the life you want to live.
“You’ll feel much more in control of your life when everything is organized, de-cluttered, and you know where everything is!” says LA relationship coach DeAnna Lorraine. “Disorganization and clutter tugs at you and eats away at you, creating growing anxiety and an overwhelming feeling of lacking control of your life that you often don’t even know where to pinpoint.”
2. When It Stops Being Fun, You’re Done
Clutter Cleaner chief Matt Paxton, who has seen disorder’s worst-case scenarios as a host of A&E’s “Hoarders,” uses this two-point test to keep clutter at bay: Are you now using it and is it fun?
“Where you get into trouble is when you start storing stuff for the apocalypse like doomsday preppers, or in case you get a bigger house,” he says. “You want to hold stuff for joy and activities.”
3. Put a Value on Free Space
Professional organizer Justin Klosky overcomes his Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder daily by redefining it as a process: Organize & Create Discipline. Simply put, Klosky focuses on space, not stuff.
“Your space is more valuable than any of the stuff you’ll ever put in it,” he insists. “It’s how you live and function in your space that promotes the stuff that you’ll ultimately bring into it.”
4. Cluttered Home, Cluttered Mind
Lorraine says clutter literally boggles the mind.
“Decluttering helps clear and free up your brain, so you can be much more productive, clear-headed, and focused,” she explains. “When you clear your home, business, and daily routines of clutter and confusion, you free your mind for far greater creativity, expansion and productivity.”
5. Ladies Love Neat Guys
Speaking of passion, clutter can seriously derail your love life.
“For a lot of women, when they come to a single man’s house, disorder is a very big turnoff,” says Klosky. “Neatness also showcases the stability of a man to the outside world.”
Lorraine agrees: “Your house will be woman-friendly when it’s neat and organized, rather than one that looks like a hoarder’s or college frat house.”
6. Holding Onto The Past Can Be Toxic
If your clutter contains emotional baggage, get rid of your exes.
“A lot of us are guilty of keeping pictures, letters and other mementos of our exes,” Lorraine says. “Believe it or not, these little ghosts of the past can actually affect you and your current relationship. Get rid of them, break free of the chains and move on!”
7. Clutter Is a Huge Time-Suck
Allowing disorganization to become your norm comes at a steep cost. That’s why professional life organizer Stever Robbins always places his wallet in one of two specific spots in his home where he knows he’ll find it.
“If six times a day you spend five minutes looking for something, that’s half an hour a day,” he explains. “That adds up to three-and-a-half hours a week, or three weeks a year. That’s a lot of time! That’s your entire vacation!”
A survey conducted last year found that Americans spend an average of two hours a week looking for misplaced items in their home.
8. Don’t Underestimate Digital Clutter
Yes, yes, technology was supposed to make clutter obsolete. Unfortunately, digital clutter may now waste more of our time than its physical predecessor.
“Do you check Facebook six times a day for five minutes each time?” asks Robbins. “If so, social media is costing you three weeks a year. Is that how you want to spend a month of your time?
9. Get Your House in Order, and Everything Else Too
Home organization complete? Great! Now get a grip on your wallet, briefcase and that mobile mess you call a car. Klosky even invented an OCD wallet to replace those bulky “Costanza wallets” from the famous “Seinfeld” episode.
“If your car, briefcase and wallet are a mess, you’re never going to find a sense of calmness and order, and you’re never going to be able to display that to others because that’s not who you are,” he says.
10. Decluttering Can Change Your Life
“If your social life is important to you, organizing and decluttering will definitely improve it,” says Lorraine. “Friends and family will enjoy coming to your home more, you’ll feel more confident and peaceful in your space, and the resulting flow of energy, or feng shui, in your life will free up more opportunities for growth and success.”
If you are ready to get started, here are some more tips for getting organized now: