Superior Living is truly about being organized in a world of chaos. Much of this chaos is beyond our control, true. However, there are lots of things that we personally can do every day to keep the chaos at bay in our own small habitat.
The biggest two causes of chaos in my life (okay, not the biggest, but pretty high up there) are my car and my wallet. Superior people always have clean cars and organized wallets (and I truly believe, can always pay with cash because they are prepared and went to the bank ahead of time).
My car is a cute, black Honda civic, already paid off, about 5 years old. I love my car and it’s not in terrible condition. But with a trunk of junk and more paper napkins from Dunkin Donuts (did I mention I love paper towels, Oprah?) I had seriously lost control of my vehicle. I actually dreaded getting into it every morning AND as you know, I drive a co-worker every day, so come on! Imagine how she feels as she steps into the pit of despair – and even worse, what she thinks of me. After all, she has not been to my home so she probably doesn’t realize that I am, in fact, a superior being. It was at that moment that I realized that a car is a representation of your life. And mine was just not up to the standard of living I expect from myself. And since I have to climb into the car first thing in the morning 5 days a week – I better rectify the situation.
So I cleaned it out completely, took it to the little car wash up the street and for $2.00 in quarters I vacuumed it out. Twice. Including the trunk. I think the whole thing took 35 minutes (including driving to and from the car wash). That’s it.
I threw a lot of trash away, found a lot of pens, and I tell you this with no undue amount of shame, a shirt I bought on clearance and never wore because I forgot about it. For 8 months. EIGHT MONTHS this shirt was in my trunk, in its original bag. Talk about irresponsible, throwing money away and wasteful! I have already worn is 4 times in the past 2 weeks to make up for this (it’s a recognizable shirt – not one you can get away with every day – not matter how reprehensibly you behaved!).
Currently, my car is obscenely neat. I proudly showed it off to my co-worker and apologized for the months of torture that riding in my car must have been for her. She seemed happier to be in a clean vehicle, but not terribly over concerned. But now that I have upped the car standards, I have yet to create a mess. I just keep telling myself that this car is an extension of my life and needs to be well-maintained. After all $300 a month car payments for a few years is a lot of money – and I need to respect that I paid for my car with hard work, and treat it like the extension of my home that it is.
And along these lines, I have to include the corporeal punishment I inflict on my wallet. I read an intriguing article on how a disorganized wallet can wreak havoc on your financial life. Some of it is pretty obvious – okay most of it – but I think it brings up an interesting topic. Messy receipts, random dollar bills folded this way and that and store discount cards everywhere? Sound familiar? I hate opening my wallet and seeing confusion – it definitely doesn’t scream out “I respect my money and am financially solvent.” In fact, everyone I know with a messy wallet has debt issues. This is true – every single person.
I make it a point to keep my wallet as organized as possible. And as an extension of that, my handbag too. I keep a wallet, my phone, and two small Vera Bradley make up cases. That’s it. One case is all my makeup and in the other case are some necessities I can’t part with (hair elastics, tissues, tampons, a small sewing kit, and mini-toothbrush and toothpaste.) Sounds like a lot, but not if it’s all mini-sized and tucked in a cute bag. This makes it so much easier to change handbags, as well, let me tell you. As for my wallet, I always separate the receipts from my actual cash. And I don’t have discount savings cards. If I need the discount I ask the cashier and tell her I left my card at home. It works every single time.
Sometimes we forget how much our living habits trickle down into the car, at work and in the handbag. And when it does dawn on you, it’s like a reawakening. You feel so much better climbing into a spotless car a first thing in the morning, after buying an iced coffee with fresh dollar bills you didn’t have to scrounge around – not to mention, so relaxed after a rough day of work. I would love to hear your stories on how successful you have been after coming over to the clean and organized side!
A couple of products you might want to try to keep as organized as possible:
Coach Wallet (excellent for endurance, strength and organizing capabilities) Style and color should be to your own taste, of course.
Moleskine Folder for Receipts and paper documents fabulous idea for keep your receipts and tickets organized and it fits into a small purse or even better a glover compartment. You can also store the discount store cards here (if you must).
Walker Bags to keep your purse organized the most successful and organized business woman I know swears by these bags.