Rule #10: Everything has a place.

Rule #10 is all about organization and cleanliness. I got this one from a friend of mine who has 3 boys. They make messes as boys do. So he taught his boys a simple lesson to help clean-up. Everything has a place. A toy is sitting on the ground, hey what's the rule? Everything has a place. The toy box for this guy. It's a simple way to make organization a tangible objective for children. That is why I adopted it. That and I'm a meticulous organizer. I choose a place for a tool and that tool will always be there. If it's not I get mad and hunt for bear. I had a friend tell me that organization might not be as important for some people such as mechanics. I think it's quite the opposite. The dirtier the job the more important it is to be organized because it's that much more difficult to find your tools when they are not where you expected them. In order of priority the most organized things in my house are:

  1. My cloths.
  2. My computer files.
  3. My tools.
  4. My kitchen.

If you haven't picked up on it the patter in the things I use most. I use my clothes every day and I can't stand being delayed 5 min in the morning searching for a pair of pants or matching socks. As a computer engineer I have to know exactly where everything on my computer is and I do, because I meticulously manage it. When I need to fix something or build something and waste my time looking for the tools to do it I get mad. And when you're cooking you don't have time to look for the right tool, the food is burning if take too long. It seems like a catch 22 but it really works. You have to take time to make time. 

Something I learned from my premarital counseling is conflict arises not from your differences but your similarities. My wife and I both have an organization system we like. My system is to place everything where it is most useful and most accusable. My wife likes thing were they are most invisible. I can't count the number of times I found a spatula in the wrong drawer or a battery charger in a random basket in a random room. To her it was organized because it was out of the way. To me it was horrifying because I couldn't find my tool when I needed it. So I came to a conclusion that helped me understand my wife and helped her understand me. I prioritize organization while she prioritizes cleanliness. So we compromised (in the good way). I find a method of organization that keeps the ugly crap out of site and she makes sure to put it in the spot we agreed upon. It's not perfect, I still leave my crap out and she still puts it in the wrong place. But her cleanliness did show me the genuine value to her point of view. Cleanliness encourages productivity, it raises moral, it even brings confidence. My confidence has lifted greatly since I was married and I suspect much of it is due to my wife being such a clean person.

So why be organized

  1. Save time. So much time.
  2. Save money. losing things and having to replace them is not fun.
  3. Prevent conflict. Put stuff where it belongs everyone gets along.
  4. Increase productivity.
  5. Encourages teaching and understanding. I organized these rules so I could teach my children, my self, and others.

The Bible is in favor of this. I used to be a part of a circle of churches that thought a service that was predictable didn't have God in it. They clearly never read "Do things decently and in order" [1 Cor 14:40]. And that was specifically talking about church services. Church services have order so people can understand what is going on. From the first time visitor to the 40 year member. It saves time and allows teaching to take place.

Organization isn't just a good idea, it's vital to a productive life.