Before you even set foot out the door to begin your journey as a flâneur, you need to make sure that your house is order, both in an allegorical and literal sense.
Why is this important? Why does it even matter?
Let’s talk about clutter and disorganization in the home. Both are symptoms of your state-of-mind. And if you are not clear of thought, in a methodical, organized way, you will not be able to effectively pursue flânerie as well as your capabilities would normally allow.
Throughout different periods in my life, I have found myself on both sides of the coin, and in reflecting upon this, the periods of disorganization in my home always seemed to be accompanied concurrently by periods of stress in my life – virtually always work-related.
It’s somewhat difficult for me still to discern the primary causal factor during those times of my disorganized home environment (e.g., did stress cause the clutter and disorganization, or did the clutter and disorganization cause the stress).
I suspect that stress and disorganization feed off of each other – with one exacerbating the other. So if you can get a handle on one, you’re probably well on the way to getting control of the other.
Of the two factors, I believe clutter/disorganization is the probably the easiest and quickest of which to gain effective control – but it still takes self-discipline and focus. And depending on the amount of clutter you may have accumulated in areas of your home, getting control over it may be daunting – if not downright overwhelming.
There’s only one way to start: with one room and one article at a time. So if you have a bedroom, home office or basement that looks like a bomb hit it – just start picking up stuff and sort it out. I initially sort things into different piles – with each pile consisting of like-things that will ultimately be organized or stored together in a single location. You should also have a trash pile – and that perhaps should be your biggest one.
With every item you pick-up or sort-out, you should be very rigorous in asking yourself whether-or-not you really, really need it. If the item is truly junk, you owe it to yourself to throw it away. If it’s still in a state-of-good-repair, but you no longer need it – make a separate pile for charitable donations (e.g., Purple Heart, Goodwill, etc.) and get the benefit of a tax deduction as well.
Once everything in a particular room has been organized into piles, start work on each pile and put the stuff, neatly and well organized, in its proper place.
I cannot emphasize enough how a well-organized home environment will enhance your journey as a flâneur. De-cluttering and organizing your home environment will do the same thing for your state-of-mind and put you in a position to most effectively engage in Social Interaction (not to mention the value it brings to your Image and the quality of your Lifestyle).
Remember, the pursuit of flânerie is not about accumulating stuff – it’s about the quality of the social interactions you engage in with the people around you and your ability to take the time “to smell the roses” and savor life itself.
This relentless pursuit of ‘stuff’ – and how most of us shortchange the quality of our very lives with what we have to do to get it – is how most of us all get caught up in “the daily grind” in the first place.
When my wife and I bought our house, it came with those single, white-enameled wire shelves in all of the closets, typical in most new construction. So essentially you could hang up your clothing and store some boxes on the shelves and on the floor, but that was about it.
One of the first investments we made in our house was to customize the closets in our master bedroom. I felt that it was extremely important to be able to properly organize all of my clothing and personal accouterments so that they were always visible and accessible. My bedroom closet is the first place I walk into when I start each day. To have it well organized gets each day off to a similar start.
You can easily spend thousands of dollars on fully custom closets, but you can also achieve the same results by shopping around and purchasing closet components at the big box hardware stores and installing it yourself. In my opinion, based on the change it made for me in being able to find my stuff and getting my day off to a good start – I personally think it is worth the time and expense.
In the event the clutter overwhelms you in your home and you truly do not know where to begin, there are in fact personal organizing services no doubt available locally in your area. You can find one easily enough through the Internet or your local telephone book. Sometimes it can help immensely to have a professional organizer give you the needed push. Again, such a service comes at an expense. These people will work with you and assist you in determining what you need and what you don't - as well as show you how to properly store it so you know where to find it when you need it.
De-cluttering and organizing your home – assuming it needs it, or course – is an important prerequisite to flânerie, in my opinion, as the resultant home environment will also help to unclutter your mind and assist you with taking a more orderly approach to your life so that you may more fully enjoy it. And that is what we want to do as flâneurs, isn't it?
© 2016 David Nogar All Rights Reserved
David Nogar is a railroad transportation consultant presently working in New York City.