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Everything i know about organization i learned from Leonidas

What the Spartans can teach us about clutter

By Band as a BusinessPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

When one thinks of the Spartans, the nearly mythological citizens of the Greek city-state of soldiers and six-packs. Organisation and a clutter-free life are not the first things that comes to mind. One thinks instead of interlocking shields, of years of training, of kicking Persians into large pits. Still, before the term "Spartan" was a by-word for fitness, fighting and the 300. It was a byword for frugality and was often paired with words like "spartan living." The meaning of the word is still:

Adjective: showing or characterized by austerity or a lack of comfort or luxury. "the accommodation was fairly spartan"

In this modern world where a child's Christmas list can run into multiple pages, where the oceans are choking on the level of plastic waste caused by modern consumerism and people are owning more and more items, but are gaining less and less personal happiness. It is not odd that a lifestyle based on saying "no" to excess is gaining in popularity again. The Spartans get a bad rap, given they were slave-owning fascists, but they can teach us some good points about clutter and focus less on ownership and more on a personal sense of honour gained from self-control.

Here are the three major points, gleaned from their training, fighting style and ethos.

1. Communal Items

As strange as it may seem the Spartans were a warrior race, they were too busy learning to fight, training and sparring to worry too much about cooking, cleaning and relaxing. It is safe to say that most of their life was spent communally, they ate together, slept together and fought together. While sadly slaves did a lot of the labour, they also shared all they could.

We live in an opposite world to us today, we share nothing and personal ownership is the only real rule. Imagine a world where there was no personal ownership of items like lawnmowers, gardening items, tools, anything you use less than 10% of the time. Imagine if instead you just went down to the local library and borrowed a hedge trimmer? or a bike, or a car? We live in a world where the worth of a person is based on how much he owns. They lived in a world where a person's worth was how good they were at fighting. While it would be a mistake to value murder highly, to value wealth creation only is equally barbaric.

2. Bring back Your shield or on it

The words were spoken by Leonidas’s wife and supposedly an often spoken saying, of Spartan mothers to their children. It evokes soldiers going off to battle and coming back with honour or not at all. Yet literally it means, bring your stuff back. The Spartans would not leave the battlefield covered in dead bodies, broken shields and single-use plastic. They came back with everything they left with. I for one would like to see Leonidas frowning face with a meme "don't litter"

Spartans unlike us, don't own anything they don't need. If they had a drink flash it was reusable. The idea of single-use plastic would surely be a waste to them.

3. Sword, spear and shield

As mentioned modern man and indeed modern woman gains much praise from ownership. Many TV shows and Movies highlight a characters love of shopping, ownership and luxury. Surely owning a BMW is better than a cheaper car, even if it does all you want.

The Spartans lived the rule "did you use it in the last year" they had very few personal items. Being soldiers they had to supply their own weapons, armour and sometimes food, but given they had to travel a lot on foot they didn't carry frivolous item around. If you need to clean and you're asking if you need an item, the question is not, has this value, can it be fixed, or have I used it.

The question is: Will this help me. The Spartans owned only what would help them, also while very violent and mad, they valued people who could help their countrymen. If you want to live a more spartan life try these tips.

• 1. Share items - communal ownership

• 2. Clean up after yourself

• 3. Keep only what you need

If nothing else, have a look in that junk draw and think of tip 3.

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About the Creator

Band as a Business

Make more money from your music

Jules runs Rocket Records, he has been the bassist and singer for bands Mondo Pest and DconV. He also runs a digital marketing company and can help you navigate the new world for bands.

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