What Termites Teach Us

To a homeowner, termites represent a threat to be eliminated. But in nature, termites serve a purpose: they eat up and get rid of wood that is no longer useful. If your space is loaded with piles, you may wish there were a “paperwork termite” that could swoop in and clear it all up.  Unfortunately, we need to perform this function ourselves. If you are facing a clutter pile-up, here are a few lessons from the highly efficient termite:

termites organize
Lessons from Termites

Nature doesn’t intend for stuff to pile up.
If we didn’t have termites, we would be buried underneath dead trees. Just take a moment to imagine what this would look like! Nature flourishes only because it has a way to get rid of the piles of dead material. If we don’t have a system for getting rid of the items that are no longer functioning, we too will be quickly buried. Everyone needs a system for cleansing his/her space.

What you aren’t using could “feed” someone else.
Chewing up old wood is not only work for termites, it is also their source of sustenance. They desperately need and want what is no longer required by anyone else. So much of what we hold onto (and walk around with, and pile up, and trip over…) could be exactly what someone else would love to have. Rather than holding onto something you probably won’t use, pass it on to someone in need.

New life will spring up when old junk is removed.
Old wood is heavy and opaque. New plants can’t flourish if they have to push through a dead tree. When termites remove these obstacles, seeds can sprout and bring new life to the space. The same is true for people. If we want to have creativity, growth and freshness in our lives, we can’t be buried under the weight of yesterday’s clutter.

Steadily eating away a little at a time results in big changes.
Even to a termite, the notion of having to eat through a log in a day would be a bit intimidating. Progress is most effectively achieved through small – but consistent – steps. If you are overwhelmed by a home or office, don’t allow the size of the task to discourage you.  Start small, but be diligent. 10 minutes a day adds up to serious time!

Don’t work alone on big tasks.
To my knowledge, I’ve never seen one termite. They are always in groups, tackling the task together. Few people have the internal fortitude to work through a large project in complete isolation. Instead, solicit the help of a family member, friend, or professional to make the job more pleasant, productive, and successful.

Which of these lessons do you think might help you get organized?

10 thoughts on “What Termites Teach Us”

    1. I’m glad you found the information helpful, Melanie. Sometimes a little humor can give a fresh perspective. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. This is great advice! I’m planning on getting my termite hat on here shortly…school starts next week and I am going to get this place organized! Who would have thought termites would have such good advice for us!

    1. September, when a more predictable schedule arrives, is the perfect time to organize, Michelle. Best of luck, and thanks for reading:)

  2. Wonderful post! The key to attaining any goal is consistency. Big changes happen with small steps taken over and over again. I appreciate your post – and the creative connection to termites. So concrete!


    1. Thanks so much, Delia! Kind of funny to think of termites as inspiration, but sometimes mixing it up keeps it interesting. So glad you stopped by!

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