I bet you are a pretty savvy business owner or an individual who has had many successful accomplishments; but you wonder, with your competency in so many areas, why you struggle with clutter and organizing your office or home? You may even recall being really organized at one time, and as life situations changed, you just couldn’t keep up.
You are feeling consumed by physical clutter, and when you turn on your computer, the clutter problem is in your digital world as well. Your home and office disorganization feel like a heavy burden.
That heavy feeling was articulated as a metaphor to me by my own son, when he said, ‘going through day-to-day life, felt like going through mud.” He is a 24-year-old young man, who successfully put himself through school on his own resources and now has a red seal as a sheet metal mechanic.
This trade was a 4-year apprenticeship, so I know he is savvy. But, he was no longer living at home and was not used to managing household responsibilities on top of work and going to school.
He fell behind and was too overwhelmed to know where to begin.
It was easier to buy TV dinners and drink pop because there is no room on his counters to prepare healthy meals. As a professional organizer, I showed him many techniques that will help him maintain his bachelor pad.
But as his mom, I was most thrilled to get his fridge organized so that there was room for healthy food.
His life was literally being held back due to clutter. With my assistance, his home and fridge were transformed. Yes, that is fresh vegetables in his crisper! Typically, I do not judge my clients’ food choices, but it being my kid, I broke that rule.
Like other savvy people, here are four reasons my son’s organizing systems fell off the rails:
Life events are huge contributing factors to why savvy people become unorganized. In my son’s situation, it was school that incrementally turned his life upside down.
Other examples that can throw people’s life into chaos are home renovations, divorce, merging families, constant travel, new careers, a sick child, an empty nest, grief, and anything unexpected.
Clutter will incrementally get worse as old systems begin to fail. Decisions related to organizing get postponed because of overwhelm, and not knowing how or where to start, are consuming.
This brings us to the next obstacle when it is too difficult to climb out of the clutter abyss; that is organizational skills may be underdeveloped.
You might think my son would have picked up organizing skills from me growing up. He did not that I could see (although his older sister certainly took note). My son had the basics, but as life started getting more challenging, he needed to understand how to create systems. And how systems are the magic of having a “mud-free” life.
Unfortunately, organizing is not a skill we are not taught like reading or math. It is taught to us through hard knocks. We may pick up basic organizing experientially, but basic skills will only take us so far in life.
Especially with the demands of technology, we need more than the basics.
Malcolm Gladwell, the bestselling author of “Outliers: The Story of Success,” writes that people must put in 10,000 hours of hard work in order to perfect a skill. Organizing skills are no different. But organizing for many is not fun, thus why many people avoid organizing.
Many savvy people are not interested in the details of organizing! They are entrepreneurs, teachers, business developers, pilots, nurses, doctors, professors, etc., and they are passionate about their zone of genius but would cringe at the thought of organizing a closet or creating a filing system. It is not that they do not value being organized, but they do not enjoy sorting, weeding, or patterning.
In my blog post, “Solve Your Clutter Problem,” I share wisdom from the late Scott Peck who wrote the bestselling book, “The Road Less Traveled.” Facing clutter and doing what needs to be done to resolve it, is what Peck cites as a road less travelled. Taking the road less travelled means you lean into discomfort, not run away from it. Even the discomfort of hiring someone to help.
Not having enough time is sometimes our own fault because we agree to do too much.
But sometimes the unexpected life events, etc., can throw us off. If you have a life where you are caring for other people, then you may have no time to organize an overflowing storage closet.
Saying no, may not be an option. If you are a person who can relate to what I have described, then you might be thrilled to hear that there is a solution – hiring a professional organizer and productivity expert. Often productivity will increase with being organized, but it is also important that you are setting priorities and doing what will have the biggest impact on reaching your goals.
You will want to know that as a productivity and organizing specialist, I am considered in Malcolm Gladwell’s book as an organizing outlier.
Tessa Palmer’s blog post from ART + marketing, adds it takes more than just 10,000 hours of practice to become an outlier. It takes deliberate practice and natural ability.
I also write about outlier traits that set professional organizers apart in my blog post titled, “Organizing Outliers Create the Space of Miracles“. My 10,000 + deliberate organizing hours will help you get out of the clutter and will create systems that will align with your personality and future desires.
Here is a testimonial from a happy business client who is feeling more productive after the training I provided.
Call me today to discuss how we can get started with your home or office challenge. I work alongside you or virtually where I instruct you step by step what to do. You can find out more about my services here.