You know that there is a natural order of things.
You know like 11 comes before 13.
When I was a little girl, and it was harvest time. I would help picking grapes with everyone to fill dip tins. There was a process.
And sometimes I would sit in the dirt, during tea break and watch the ants in the dirt. The ants knew where to go. In a clean straight-line marching in the dirt, no deviation to the hole in a direct line of natural order.
They knew where to go and what to do.
All the dip tins full of grapes also in a long straight line on one side of the row where the tractor would come along and pick each one up. Stacked methodically and neatly, in order ready for the racks where the fruit would be offloaded.
Over time the fruit would dry, the racks were shaken and the sultanas delivered to the co-op in large square wooden boxes weighing in at one ton per box. Neatly stacked and delivered in order ready to be processed for smaller boxes with neat label to the supermarket.
At harvest time the house got very messy.
I was one of 6 children – a big family.
We all had chores.
My chores included collecting the wood in the evening so Dad could light the combustion stove, every morning before going out to milk the cow.
This action started everything in our household like clock-work at 5am. So I my job was very important.
By the time we got up at 7am we had a cooked breakfast and warm water to wash in because the stove was connected to a hot water system in the house. This is how I grew up.
There was a natural order of chores.
Like when it was dinner time.
The routine of picking vegetables from the garden, herbs, seasonal fruits and setting the table, cooking the meal, sitting down to eat it and then cleaning up, washing the dishes and putting everything away. Three meals a day, three times a day, the routine of meals, have become neurons of organisation.
There were cupboards and draws and places where things could be put away.
There was a place for everything.
Well organised places and spaces for all things. Nooks and crannies where plates and knives and forks could go and then you could find them when you needed them again.
There was order, and serenity because we knew where everything went.
We knew where to get something when we were asked.
My husband built me a jewellery box recently to house my jewellery.
In the box there is another box and other compartments.
He built me shelving to house books in my office. There are shelves within the shelves where I can organise and find things easily.
We share a bathroom.
His side is clean. He follows the same routine every morning, then wipes everything down before he leaves. I don’t have to clean his sink when I clean the bathroom. It’s always clean.
He’s so organised and builds boxes to house and organise things, like Russian babushka dolls.
Inside the first matryoshka doll were seven more wooden toys, each having their own characteristic feature and attire: the second doll a female, the third female holds a scythe, the fourth female holds a bowl of porridge, the fifth is a boy holding a long object, a broom or maybe a fork, then another female holding in her hands a sibling with no clear gender, the seventh a young girl, and lastly, a baby wrapped in a patchwork quilt.
While the dolls also depict a woman’s fertility and motherhood, the main purpose here is to illustrate organisation. Each member of the family has their own unique role in the household, and it’s the mother who serves as the foundation of the home.
And thus each doll within a doll and each box within a box and each ant as it marches finds a place within a space has a role to play in making order in the natural order of things.
And in your office you have a natural order of things – a place and a space for each item in your office, each thing has is place. If each item has its place and is returned in any given moment of use, then cleaning up the office will be integrated in what you do.
Each item has a place in your office where it belongs, put it back and then you will have order. And when there is order in your office, you will know what it feels like to flow with the wonder of your work and you will know peace won’t you?