How Being Organized & Living Simply Allowed Me to Move to Ireland at 19

How Being Organized & Living Simply Allowed Me to Move to Ireland at 19

How Being Organized & Living Simply Allowed Me to Move to Ireland at 19

When I was 19, I packed up everything I owned into two suitcases, booked a one-way ticket to Cork, Ireland, and left my life in Chicago behind. I succeeded in finding a well paying office job, lived in adorable homes, and had many adventures during that year.


Why did I move to Ireland and what does that have to do with organization?


Growing up, I had been educated in Irish culture, music, dance, and literature because my father was born and raised on that small island. Being Irish composed every ounce of my being. I visited Ireland with my family when I was younger, and it enchanted me. When I was in high school, I was eager to leave Chicago and start off on my own adventure. Because I have dual citizenship (I am a citizen of Ireland and America), I felt that the time between high school and college was a perfect time to pursue my dream of living in my father’s homeland. So, entirely on my own (it wasn’t through college or any programs), I set up a life for myself in Ireland to see if it was truly where I wished to spend my life.


After a year of working, living, and romancing in Ireland, I realized that I was happiest near my family, and I couldn’t bear to be away from them, even as much as I loved beautiful Ireland. But during that year living overseas, I learned so many things about myself. Mostly, I realized that when you are organized, you can truly accomplish any goal you have, because being organized begets being disciplined, and being disciplined begets accomplishing tasks.


Sometimes, our goals are so overwhelming that we don’t even know where to begin. That’s why it’s important to write down lists of tasks you need to accomplish and realistic deadlines for when they should be accomplished.


I spent six months researching the Irish lifestyle and laws, set deadlines for when I needed to gather my documents, and how to set up my Irish social-security number and bank account.


Before I moved, I sorted through everything I owned and made piles: what I would pack, what I would leave behind, and what I would get rid of by selling or donating. I only brought a suitcase of clothes and shoes, and a backpack of sentimental items (journal, photos, books). I only saved a small closet worth of clothes, shoes, and personal items at my parents’ house for when/if I returned.


It was so freeing to only own what I could carry!


When I got to Ireland, I spent a month searching for jobs, and worked as a “glass collector” (oh, the stories I have—for another time!) at a bar while I continued to seek office work. I interviewed at a recruitment agency, and one day they called me to tell me there was a receptionist position available at their company. I interviewed for the job and was hired!


My job responsibilities were to keep the office and its staff organized in every possible way, and I loved it! I was so organized and disciplined that I would often finish my work for the day around 1:00pm. After a few months, they were ready to promote me.


At home, having few things also allowed me to stay organized, spend less time cleaning, and more time going out on the town, meeting new people, and experiencing all Ireland had to offer. Because I had few things and—also this is very helpful—because Ireland requires landlords to furnish rented apartments, I didn’t spend time or money acquiring and cleaning things. I noticed that Irish households had far less clutter than American households, even though Irish houses were much smaller. When you don’t have much, you don’t have much to clean and organize, and you can spend your time having fun!


I will always cherish my year in Ireland. I learned to be financially independent, I met wonderful people, I explored and had many adventures, and I accomplished one of my life goals.


But if I hadn’t been organized, I wouldn’t have been disciplined, and I would never have accomplished one of my dreams.


I truly believe that if you are organized you can accomplish any goal you have.   So what are you waiting for? What’s your dream? Your goal? Sit down and write it down. Organize your thoughts onto paper. Make a list of deadlines. And go after it!

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My goal is to help you become more organized so that you can spend your time in meaningful ways.
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