Many people say they want to be super organized. They want a beautiful closet with color-coded clothing and matching hangers. They want pantries with glass jars labeled with their rice, quinoa, and breakfast cereals.
But they lie. Not intentionally.
But being super organized often means having less stuff, spending more time planning, and spending more time putting things away, or having the staff (maid service, nanny, personal assistant) to do it for you.
People like the idea of being extremely organized. The Instagram and Pinterest board likes and shares prove it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not being judgmental. I'm just being honest. After about 10 years in the organizing industry, I speak from truth and experience.
I'll even pull back the layers of truth on myself. I love the idea of having six-pack abs but I'm not willing to put in the work and the eating habits (at least not with all the other priorities on my plate) to get them. I do what I can to live a healthy lifestyle, it's not perfect but I'm honest with myself. I love bread, wine, and I don't work out consistently.
How can you be more honest with yourself?
Notice what you say when you're in Target staring at pretty baskets and decor. How does that internal speech that drove you to buy that pretty basket measure up when you get home? What happens in reality? Will the pretty basket sit in the bag with the tag for weeks unused, perhaps adding to the clutter that's already in your home?
Notice what internal speech do you hear when you are home and discouraged by your home office papers in various stacks in your office or 2 months' worth of mail on the dining room table?
Don't DISS yourself.
Organizing takes work. It takes effort, consistency, and a bit of know-how (skill). What can keep you from getting or staying organized?
Are you distracting yourself with television, phone calls, social media? Set aside dedicated, consistent time to process and organize. It can be as little as 15-20 minutes but let it be daily or weekly but consistent. Music can be a motivator. But avoid things that keep you procrastinating or stopping and starting the process multiple times. Refocusing takes a lot of energy and time that you can be used in the processing mode.
Are you ignoring the mess? It's often when someone wants to come over that we suddenly see the stacks of magazines, the load(s) of laundry that needs to be folded, or that trash can overflowing. We all get busy, but ignoring the clutter or disorganization won't keep it from going away! Have an accountability partner, set a reminder, or have a regular routine for dealing with clutter build-up.
Do you sabotage your organizing efforts with negative self-talk? Saying things like "I've never been organized, so it's not possible for me..." "I don't like organizing so I can't do it." "I'm too busy." Are probably excuses that sabotage your efforts or from even trying. Organizing is a skill that most people can learn. You just need to find what you need when you need it. Manage your time and energy, and figure out what works for you and what doesn't. When you feel like you failed in an organizing endeavor ask yourself: "What did I learn?" You may be able to analyze and problem-solve to try something different.
We live in an information age: YouTube, blogs, podcasts all are chock-full of helpful tips, information, and ideas to learn how to organize. Don't follow too many. Pick 1-2 mediums that resonate with you and tune in regularly. It may give you the confidence to figure out a particular organizational challenge.
Perhaps you suppress your emotions regarding the clutter or disorganization in your life? Often times the emotions we suppress only come back with a vengeance and bite us in the rear. For instance, our cluttered space may make us depressed or anxious. Instead of dealing with the issue we move to another less cluttered space in the house, like from our dedicated office space to the kitchen table, and then ultimately clutter that area as well. Perhaps we make matters worst by behaviors that create temporary relief emotionally but actually make the problem worse, like "retail therapy".
Have you noticed these patterns in yourself or someone in your household? Are you ready to create a journey to a more organized lifestyle? Let's chat! Book a FREE Discovery Call with me or Kellie Powell.
I have been trained to coach (bringing awareness and partner with clients to bring positive change) around organizational and productivity issues. We can work out a plan to organize your space, and help you stay organized for good (even virtually)!
Don't DISS yourself! Let's put in the work and have the charmed organized life you desire!
Andrea Hancock is a Professional Organizer and Owner of Dexterous Organizing, a professional organizing and lifestyle company serving the Washington, DC Metro area. Andrea has been organizing professionally since 2010 and has completed the foundation courses in the Coach Approach for Organizers Training. She believes mostly anyone can create the organizational system that works for their lives through training, awareness, and consistent efforts.