Better Manhood Skills: Organizing Your Belongings

My current series on creating a roadmap for better manhood continues with another skill every young male needs to become a mature man: organizing his belongings. While being organized is an important skill for both males and females, it’s a skill that’s especially important for young males since it’s part of being a responsible adult. In this post, I provide some ways to become better organized.  

Start by Making Your Bed!

One of the most effective ways to change your life and become a better man comes from this inspirational graduation speech by Admiral William H. McRaven. Starting the day by making your bed helps develop a personal discipline that applies to all aspects of life.

A few years ago, I also wrote a post titled Learning to “Take Care of Your Sh*t” that included a link to a post with 100 Skills Every Man Should Know. That post and the aforementioned video, inspired this series since I believe many young males are not trained on how to be good and proper adult men.

NOTE: Since I’m about halfway through the series, I will begin including a section at the end of each post with quick links to previous posts so you can catch up and add your comments on each skill.

Things to Organize

Here are some common items that men need to organize to maintain an orderly life:

  • Calendar: Organize your appointments with a paper calendar or digital version on your phone. As I wrote earlier in this series about Time Management, find a good To-Do list or task management system that works for your lifestyle. As soon as you commit to doing something or agree to attend an event, put it in your calendar so you don’t forget it. 
  • Clothing and Shoes: The most basic of items to organize, learn to put your shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, socks, underwear, sneakers, dress shoes, or sports shoes in a designated place like a dresser or closet. This helps keep them in good condition and easily accessible. Sorting them by type, occasion, or color can make it quicker and easier to find what you need. DO NOT live out of a laundry basket! 
  • Electronics: Creating a dedicated space for charging, storing, and organizing your electronics can help prevent loss and damage. This includes laptops, tablets, smartphones, headphones, chargers, and gaming systems.
  • Personal Care Items: Especially if you share a space with a sibling or roommate, put your grooming products, toiletries, and accessories (razors, cologne, hair products, etc.) in a separate storage area or container in the bathroom cabinet. Have a small personal “to-go” toiletry bag ready with everything you need for an overnight stay at your buddy’s house. You will also need this for business trips once you start your career. 
  • Bedding and Linens: Organize sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and towels in a designated space like a linen closet or dresser to make them easier to access and maintain. Fold these items neatly; don’t just wad them up and throw them in a closet or drawer. Get some large plastic totes to store these under your bed if you have limited space.  
  • School/Home Office Supplies: Students often need notebooks, textbooks, pens, pencils, calculators, and folders to aid in studying and completing assignments. If you work at home, set up a desk with basic home-office supplies like a stapler, paper clips, pens and pencils, and a filing system. At a minimum, clean out your backpack frequently and keep it organized.  
  • Books and Study Materials: If you enjoy reading, organizing your books, textbooks, and study resources can make it easier to find what you need when reading for school or leisure. But you don’t need to keep high school or college textbooks and papers from twenty years ago!  
  • Sports Equipment and Tools: If you participate in sports or other physical activities, equipment like balls, bats, sticks, clubs, gloves, helmets, and jerseys should be in a designated storage area to make it easier to access them. Maintain them well, especially any wearable hockey or football gear, which you should clean and deodorize frequently. Label any tools that you lend out. And always clean those you borrow!  
  • Important Financial Documents: I wrote earlier in this series about the importance of Money Management. Use a system for that works for you, then keep track of your spending and savings. Keep at least 7 years of tax returns once you start earning wages. Get a small fire- and water-proof safe or use a safe deposit box at the local bank. Safely store tax returns, your passport, original birth certificate, marriage certificate, and loan papers. Keep a copy of your social security card and any other important documents. 
  • Hobbies and Collectables: Men have various hobbies or collections, such as books, games, trading cards, models, and artwork. Using shelves, drawers, or specific storage solutions for these items can keep them organized and protected. Mark everything well, especially that baseball card collection so someone doesn’t throw it away when you move (speaking from experience!). 
  • Memorabilia and Sentimental Items: Everyone will have sentimental items such as photographs, letters, awards, or souvenirs. Organizing these items in a memory box or album will help preserve their significance and reduce clutter.

Of course, developing a system to identify and manage your belongings will vary depending on your individual interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. But being well-organized can help you maintain a sense of ownership and responsibility for those belongings.

How to Get Organized 

Here are some ways to effectively organize your belongings to maintain an orderly living space. These apply whether you still live at home, or after you move into a dorm room, barracks, apartment, condo, or house.

  • Sort and Categorize: Develop a systematic approach to organizing your belongings. This could involve creating a logical order for arranging items, such as storing similar items together or organizing things based on the frequency of use. Categorize your belongings into different groups based on similarities. For example, group your clothes by type (shirts, pants, etc.) or by occasion (casual, formal, etc.). Have separate drawers in a dresser for underwear, socks, T-shirts, pants/shorts, etc. Put them away as soon as you finish your laundry. 
  • Use Storage Solutions: Identify suitable storage solutions for different types of belongings. Shelves, storage bins, hooks, and drawer organizers maximize space, keep things organized, and help you find things quickly. Identify containers using labels, tags, or markers to indicate the contents in the storage boxes, drawers, and shelves. Labeling makes it easier to find and return items to their designated places.
  • Declutter: Regularly declutter by getting rid of items you no longer need or use. This helps create more space and makes organizing even easier. If you haven’t touched something in 2 years, you may not need it!
  • Prioritize: Prioritizing your belongings based on the frequency of use or importance. This ensures frequently used items are easily accessible, while less-used items can be stored away.
  • Be Mindful: Being aware of your belongings and how you treat them will give you a sense of pride. You will also remember to put items back in their designated places after each use to maintain order and reduce clutter. Just don’t become like Marie Kondo!

Regularly reviewing and updating your organizational systems can help you adapt as your needs change and prevent clutter from accumulating. 

Why Be Organized?

Good organization skills are important for men of all ages (and individuals of all genders for that matter) for several reasons:

  • Efficiency and productivity: Organization helps increase your efficiency and productivity. When things are in their designated places and systems are in order, you can easily find what you need. You also accomplish tasks more quickly and stay focused on your goals.
  • Reduced stress and mental clarity: Being organized reduces stress and promotes mental clarity. When your surroundings are tidy and your belongings organized, you create a sense of calmness and reduce mental clutter. It helps most men think more clearly, make better decisions, and maintain a more positive mindset.
  • Professionalism and credibility: Whether in the workplace or your personal life, being organized showcases reliability, attention to detail, and a sense of professionalism. It can enhance one’s reputation and make a positive impression on others.
  • Improved relationships: Being organized positively impacts your relationships. When men are organized, they fulfill commitments, are reliable, and maintain a sense of order in shared spaces. This leads to smoother interactions and reduced conflicts with family members, friends, or colleagues.
  • Health and self-care: Living or working in clutter-free and organized spaces promotes cleanliness. This reduces allergens or hazards and fosters a better sense of well-being. It also allows you to prioritize time for rest, relaxation, and fun activities. 
  • Goal achievement: Organizational skills are crucial for setting and achieving goals. By breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks, you can create action plans. You can more easily track your progress, stay motivated, and increase the likelihood of success in all areas of life.

Overall, well-organized men lead more efficient, productive, and balanced lives. It enhances their ability to manage time, reduce stress, maintain professionalism, and achieve personal and professional goals.

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GodBuddy Focus

The Bible does not specifically mention organizing belongings in a direct, prescriptive manner. However, there are two verses that provide principles for the concept of organization and stewardship. These verses encourage us to approach all aspects of life with order, responsibility, and faithfulness, which are marks of good and proper men.

“But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”

1 Corinthians 14:40 (NIV)

While this verse originally refers to the orderliness of worship in the church, it applies to organizing all aspects of life. It emphasizes the importance of doing things in an orderly and fitting manner. This principle means taking care to keep things in their proper place, maintaining cleanliness, and managing one’s possessions responsibly.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

Luke 16:10 (NIV)

Although this verse is primarily about the concept of stewardship, it applies to being faithful with all of our resources. It reminds us to be responsible and good stewards of what we have, regardless of the quantity or value of our possessions. Good stewardship develops habits of responsibility and orderliness.

Organizing and managing your belongings is a skill that’s critical to better manhood, regardless of whether you want to become a godly man or not!

For discussion:

  • Be honest. Are you an organized person? If so, what do you do well? If not, where could you use some help or a better system? 
  • How do the above Bible verses apply to your life? 
  • Who can help you become more organized?

[Feature Photo by Greta Schölderle Möller on Unsplash]

Roadmap to Better Manhood
IntroductionTime for a Change
The Secrets to Becoming a Real (Godly) Man
Start Being a R-E-A-L Man Here
FoundationA Man’s Identity: Knowing Who You Are and Whose You Are
Discovering Your Purpose as a Man
A Man and His Worldview
Using Your Masculinity Properly
First, Manage Yourself Well
Hard-skillsBetter Manhood Skills: Money Management
Better Manhood Skills: Good Personal Hygiene
Better Manhood Skills: Time Management
Better Manhood Skills: Navigation, Transportation and Travel
Better Manhood Skills: Education and Employment 
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