Yesterday, I talked about the way order makes you feel: comfortable, relaxed, like all’s right with the world.
Today I would like to explore what order looks like.
Most people would say that this is not orderly, but I disagree. (Apologies for my poor picture quality and lack of light. I’m a night owl.)
Maybe it’s because I have ADHD, I don’t know, but I’m willing to allow a little flexibility into my life. And if a neat pile of clean dishes happens to be waiting to dry on the counter, I’m OK with that.
Up to a point.
Once they are dry, they need to be put back where they belong. Not the very second they get dry, but within a normal time frame. I’m even OK with letting them hang out there overnight.
This is the same counter minus the clean dishes; what most people would call orderly.
When my kitchen is clean, that is how that counter looks.
Yes, there is still stuff on the counter, but it’s functional as well as pretty.
An ordered space can still have stuff in it. It can even have stuff in it just for decorative purposes only.
This is probably a good time to clarify something here. Not all order is equal.
Real order must be simple, appealing, and ultimately very user friendly.
Some people, for instance, think that if they take a messy pile of things and put them in a neat and tidy stack, that they have cleaned that spot and put it in order.
That is not what order means to me.
A three foot tall (neat) stack of books on the floor is not really any better than a messy one. I’m still going to create a mess if the book I want is on the bottom.
You don’t get the peace and satisfaction of order from that. It’s just a neat mess.
And while I’m at it, ordered is not strict and unforgiving.
This to me is not order.
Same counter, nothing on it.
It just looks sad to me.
You can be a little too rigid at times when seeking order.
I used to have a neighbor who color coded her daughter’s hair bands and crayons. She also (honest) would arrange the piles of leaves or snow at the sides of her driveway so that there were the same. Symmetry. Crazy.
Order is a whole thing. It’s the way it looks and the way it feels and the way it works for you.
And by the way, order is not permanent; it’s fleeting. It needs attention now and then.
Our lives are in constant flux, always changing. We never know what to expect next. That’s probably especially true if you have ADHD.
But with a little time spent here and there, you can easily restore order to your life or at least your home.
And that feels pretty good.