This article has been written for all the people who just cannot keep the space around them neat and tidy. Hopefully, after reading this piece, you will have an easier time staying neat, orderly, and organized. The following ten points are my personal guidelines for managing space for maximum productivity.
1. The Principle of Minimalism: Mental energy is expended every time your mind needs to focus on an object in your vicinity. Remove from your possession any items that you do not use or are redundant. The less you have, the higher the value you will get from what you have.
2. The Principle of Purism: Do not keep any item that does not have a well defined functional value. Do not keep posters, collectibles, paintings, vases, pots, or any other decorative item in your space. These do not add to the beauty of the place; they subtract from the functionality of it.
3. The 5-5-90 Principle: Of all your possessions,
- 5% is used daily.
- 5% is not used often but must still be kept.
- 90% is useless and will never be touched.
Discard the 90%. It will be hard at first, but when you only have a tenth of your possessions, your mind will feel ten times clearer.
4. The Principle of Quantity: Given a choice between a large number of tools and a small number, both of which perform the same tasks, choose the option with a smaller number of tools. Lesser tools mean more free space, which results in a clearer mind.
5. The Principle of Quality: What you possess should be of the highest quality. If what you have is not the best thing you can afford, replace it. Using broken tools for the sake of recycling/re-using does not make you intelligent; it makes you inefficient.
6. The Principle of Space: Unused space is not wasted space. While it may logically seem like the best option is to spread your items out to utilize all the available space, the lack of free space does not increase efficiency. Instead, it will most likely result in inefficiency and clutter.
7. The Principle of Perfection: Symmetry and the arrangement of objects matter. Align all items in an order, with perfection to the nearest millimeter. It may sound obsessive, but when things are stacked perfectly on top of one another or when items are arranged in a perfect grid, it does wonders to your mind, which operates best in a well-ordered environment.
8. The Principle of Collection: Only keep one type of item in one place—group items together based on purpose. You shouldn’t have the same kind of object in two different locations. Even if a little space is left unused because you cannot keep any similar item in the free area, the benefit received in the amount of time gained will be significant.
9. The Principle of Optimization: Optimize your path so that you have to put as little effort as possible to get to what you are looking for. Keep the tools you frequently use within arm’s reach and those you don’t use in harder-to-reach areas, such as the top shelves. Have a fixed, wide path to move around in. Nothing allows your mind to experience freedom more than being able to move around freely and unrestricted.
10. The Principle of Sustenance: Once your entire space has been organized, ensure that a set of rules are followed whenever new items are added or removed. If you get a new item, and if that item follows the above principles, ensure that it is put in the right place right away. If you have a party and if your space becomes messy in the process, ensure that a set of steps are followed in putting everything back into its original place again, as early as you possibly can.
By following the above principles, you will hopefully be able to squeeze a significant amount of extra time out of each day and experience a sense of mental openness and freedom. If you have ideas, opinions, alternate perspectives, or agree/disagree with any of the points listed above, leave a comment in the section below!