Daily Battle against Chaos: Why Order is so Important by Satya Chaitanya SignUp
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Daily Battle against Chaos: Why Order is so Important
by Satya Chaitanya Bookmark and Share

Hamburg
Who among us can consistently reach into a drawer and find his sunglasses or put his hands on the car key in a single stroke or know immediately where the cell phone charger is?

Most people only dream of having such order in their lives, and they usually want it most when they are turning their apartments upside down in a desperate search to find something. Insisting on order might make a person seem fastidious, but being organized saves a lot of stress, especially right after achieving it.

What passes as orderly, varies from person to person. "Order is not measurable, rather it's an approach to life. Everyone of us views the world from our own individual standpoint," said interior designer Rita Pohle of Stuttgart, who also helps people organize their things, in a book she wrote about getting rid of clutter.

Places that some people consider in need of a good cleaning and sorting appear perfectly settled and orderly to others. As widely as order can be interpreted, experts agree as firmly that order is a must for entirely practical reasons, but also for one's own personal peace of mind.

"Order on the outside also means there is order on the inside," said designer and interior decorator Katharina Semling of Oldenburg. Order eases and enriches life.

British author and feng shui expert Karin Kingston said one's home is the outer manifestation of what is going on inside the person. If someone is outwardly disorderly, there's an equal amount of disorder on the inside, Kingston said in her book, "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui", in summarizing her theory. Piles of clutter in the home allow energy to stagnate and cause fatigue, lethargy and often also depression.

Constanze Koepp, who runs a service in Hamburg to help people get rid of clutter, feels that clearing out and straighten up the home is like grounding oneself.

"Properly started, clearing away puts unbelievable things into gear," she said. People, who achieve order, scrutinize their things and learn to let them go. "It takes strength, but also can be wildly fun."

Clearing out and tidying up - particularly when the chaos has spread far and wide - can be strenuous. It can be even worse, however, for a person to repress over a long period of time the effects of having disorder all around him.

"The disorder is always present unconsciously and it is paralysing," said Urte Kreft, who runs a service offering help in clearing away clutter in the southern German town of Neckarsulm.

The phenomenon of people who live with chaos in their homes for weeks, and then rush around tidying up any old way when a visitor is expected is widely known. Kreft said many people want to have their homes tidy and orderly for themselves and don't want to feel ashamed when someone drops in spontaneously.

"You can't find anything in a pile of junk. You use up your energy in the search," said Pohle. The result is exhaustion and resignation. The feeling of having one's life under control, having more time, more space and having to do fewer searches is indescribable.

British lifestyle guru Terence Conran sees it much the same: When disorder spreads, it hampers your daily routine, he said in his book Storage: Get Organized. It starts when you can't find anything, and at some point the situation stifles the impulse to do something about it, Conran said.

Creating order and keeping it has tangible advantages. Jam packed closets, for example, are places that moths love to infest, and when things are in order, there's no need to spend precious time rummaging through all the stuff in the broom closet to find a particular object. Disorder is a genuine burden and it costs money because the chaos requires space. It doesn't matter how high or low the rent is, space is too valuable to fill it up with superfluous things, Conran argues.

Order is not magic rather it can be - with few exceptions - learned. Some people find it more difficult than others. In Kreft's opinion a person's character is a deciding factor in how well or how poorly he or she relates to order.

"A portion of logical thinking goes along with being orderly," she said.  

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22-Feb-2009
More by :  Satya Chaitanya
 
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