I get this question all the time. For me, there is a very important place to start. I feel I can’t get my mind focused if the place I live in or stay at is a mess. So for me to be able to organize my life (or in my terms “organice my life”) I need to clean up and put everything at home where it belongs before I can go on thinking about my next steps in life.


It does not matter if you are temporarily staying somewhere, or if it is your home. Your surroundings should give you peace of mind. So in order to get your life in order, please clean up your physical space first! In my “Organice Your Life® Circle of 5” I purposely put “Organice Your Home” first.How do I realistically do that? Well, especially when spring is coming I want to organize my life. So I begin with cleaning up just one room—usually the bedroom. I pick up everything that does not belong there and I collect it in a big basket. Then I clean up what actually belongs there. One room ready!Then I take the basket with all the stuff and walk to the second space and do the same thing, while checking what’s in my basket and what belongs in that room. If I walk every item to the place where it belongs, and then walk back to where I was cleaning up, I waste too much time. If I just do as I described before, it saves a lot of time.

Mary Poppins

Cleaning up can be fun and does not have to take forever. I learned this from my favorite childhood movie: Mary Poppins. And especially the scene in which she teaches the kids that cleaning up can be fun if you keep your organizing structured and with a goal.If you have too much stuff, think of what you can do without. You might be able to give away these things to people who need it more, or sell it on Ebay or have a yard sale. You might make someone else happy with your things. One good deed done for the day!For the remaining things that you want to keep, but don’t need right away or you don’t use a lot, buy nice boxes that look great together and in which you can put all these things that are too precious to throw out, but too annoying to stay in sight. If the boxes all look the same it can give you an organized feeling right away.If you do this, I can guarantee that you will feel happy in the space you are in, no matter if it is a huge mansion or a cute 200 square feet apartment. You will also be able to psychologically handle the first item on your to-do list. When you can see an organized room, you can see your life and your goals more clearly. Another benefit is that you will probably find things you thought you lost. Maybe you’ll even find money (I always find coins in between the couch cushions). It is a win-win situation.

Freddy Mercury

If I find a forgotten book, or a gift certificate, it is like getting a present. I get excited! Cleaning up definitely boosts your excitement because of discovering all these things all over again. If I want to feel good, I go clean up. It is a great workout too. Think of Freddie Mercury singing “I Want to Break Free” video in which he is vacuum cleaning. Ok, he is in drag but you can see that it makes you move. And moving your body is healthy! So I also recommend putting on your favorite music, dancing and singing along with your best voice. Make it fun.MORE: Thinking Cleaning is a Workout Makes You Lose Weight

Courtesy of Lonneke EngelLonneke outside Sustainable NYC
Lonneke Engel

Besides that, cleaning up is also necessary for your health and beauty. A disorganized home is prone to dust, and dust means bacteria. Or worse—you might attract rodents! So the cleaner and more organized your home, the less chance you have that you will get unwanted visitors in your place. Bad air or bacteria are bad for your skin and body. So to look and feel great, you need to keep your space clean.A few of my favorite places to shop for cleaning supplies are Whole Foods, Green Depot and Sustainable NYC. They have so many eco-friendly options for cleaning supplies, or smart things to organize your belongings.Now you understand that I love cleaning. It gives me a great feeling, gets me moving and helps me focus. Now it’s your turn. Good luck! Love,Lonneke@LonnekeEngel