Closed September 2017

R is for “Ready for Anything”

This is the last post in a series on our N.E.A.T.E.R. definition of what it means to be organized. For the last few weeks I have been talking more in depth about what each one of these words means. (You can click on any of these in the list below to jump to the previous posts.)

FireextinguisherOur Definition of "Organized:"

Not Perfect, but…
Effective– doing what works best
Always improving
True to your style
Efficient- not wasting time and energy
Ready for anything- being prepared for life

(NEATER acronym © 2006-2009, Clutter Diet, Inc.)

Being organized means you're usually ready for what life is likely to throw your way. When someone gets cut, you have a bandage. If there is a fire, you have an extinguisher. It means that you have saved some money aside, you have some food in your pantry, and your kids have lunch money in their school accounts. It means you have prepared in a practical way for your realistically anticipated needs. You've planned ahead and made the effort– you've been the ant and not the grasshopper.

There is a fine line, however, between preparing for what you realistically and practically need vs. saving everything to be prepared "just in case" out of fear. I want to be very clear about this– the probability of your needing it should be fairly high for you to keep an object in preparation for that event. If you are keeping a snow shovel on the chance that there might be a blizzard in Austin, TX, you are going to be crossing the line away from being practical and realistic.

Our "Ready for Anything" concept really is more about planning than keeping. It's about anticipating things like the fact that six o'clock is going to happen every night and your family will be hungry for dinner– what are you planning to feed them? Are you ready for the holidays with gifts and travel arrangements? Are you ready for visitors to come over unexpectedly? If you were "hit by the proverbial bus," would your family be ready to handle your financial matters?

Planning is powerful– a few minutes of smart thinking about your future can help you live more fully in the present. What do you need to do in your life to be more "ready"? What has organizing and planning helped you to accomplish? Share in the comments!

I hope you've enjoyed my series on what it means to "be organized"– these are messages I am very passionate about sharing, and I am grateful for your attention to them. Blessings to you this holiday season!

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One Comment


I’ve really loved this series on your “NEATER” acronym. For me, your “ready for anything” is the payoff for all organization and decluttering efforts. Every day brings something unexpected, which can either become (1) a miserable gut-wrenching disruptive emergency or (2) simply a challenge to be met with focus and tools at hand.


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