Ariel, you're absolutely right about clutter, cleaning and organization! The last two don't happen over lots of clutter, for sure!
There are several dictionary definitions for the word "order" and once I cleared up a major confusion between two of the definitions I was on my way to a much more organized life.
The two (paraphrased) definitions I'm talking about are 1. Objects arranged neatly according to a plan and 2. A state of effective operation.
Many years ago, when I read the definitions of the word "order" I had a big revelation and decided to test it out.
I loved to sew but hadn't been doing a lot of it. I had all my fabric, notions, etc. neatly stored in containers and boxes and those containers were spread out over three closets. Yes, they were neat and everything was labelled but they were not in a state of effective operation.
If I wanted to sew something I had to root through boxes and containers to gather my materials, look for pins, cutting board, scissors and whatever else I needed. It could take up to an hour just finding the things I needed and by that time I didn't feel like sewing!
So I pulled everything out and went to work putting it all into "a state of effective operation." I had a deep cupboard with shelves and I put a sheet of pegboard on the inside of the door. Armed with pegboard hooks I arranged all my sewing tools on the hooks so that I didn't have to root around to find them. The shelves held everything else - fabric, labeled containers of trims, one for zippers, etc.
IMMEDIATELY after doing this I was running the sewing machine at Mach 3 and having a grand time. I pieced two quilt tops, made a couple of dresses, a robe for my husband and finished all the mending. Everything I needed was right there and my set up time was zero - it was already set up! Of course, as soon as I finished, everything was put away in its appropriate place. Neat and tidy, yes, but also a very effective way to operate. And my sewing production soared.
I've followed that criteria ever since. I don't care how neat something looks, if I can't put my hand on it as soon as I need it, it's not "orderly". Grasping this one concept has made my life much easier and so much more productive. Hope this helps!
And thanks for starting this thread! It's great!