A friend of mine was reading a book about the art of tidying. He started folding his socks differently. Instead of just balling them up and throwing them in a drawer, he began to fold his socks in the shape of squares and stack them in a line fold-side up. That way he could see them all. "Socks go through a lot," he said. "It feels good to appreciate all they do."
There is an art to tidying. Sometimes we consider the season of fall to be a time to purge clutter that has accumulated, to restore lost order and come back to our rhythms, slowly beginning to turn inward again, after the extroversion of summertime. Keeping up a tidying routine, like a regular Yoga practice, can keep the cycle of rejuvenation fertile and enjoyable all year round.
Some simple ways to keep up daily tidiness:
Say "Thanks" to clothes and old items when you throw them out. Sometimes we throw things out with an attitude of I don't want this anymore or This brings back bad memories. Turn away from violent purging and say to your old things, "I appreciate you having been in my life, but now it's time for us to part."
Keep your space clean as a way to allow fresh things, people, and ideas to enter your life. When something is cluttered, it presents itself as a subconscious distraction. The clutter is like an unconscious holding onto the past. See what is allowed to come through after cleaning your space, whether it be a home, a computer, or a storage shed. It may be that by letting go of held-on-to clutter, something new can make its way in.
Be grateful for what you have. Like my friend and his socks, it's easy to toss clothes in a drawer, stack books in sloppy piles, or cram groceries into the cupboard. When you organize your items neatly, you allow for a space to appreciate what you have. It's easy to look at a messy closet and think, "I don't have anything to wear!" But what if you could easily see the beautiful colors and shapes of your clothes hanging up or nicely stacked? You'd quickly appreciate and realize that you have exactly what you need. That doesn't mean you should avoid buying new things—treat yourself! But it's a good habit to appreciate what you have first, and then decide what new addition you can invite into your life.
Remember that being tidy is more than physical. It's not just about keeping a home clean or stacking bedsheets in mindfully-folded piles. Think of your devices, like your computer, your phone, your hard drive. What photos can you delete or store in a more accessible way? Do you keep your schedule tidy, or does every week feel like you're running around without a head? Look closely at the areas of your life that could benefit from being tidy.
Images in text: Sanjin Kaštelan