Why is organizing so hard? Over the years, I have heard this question from many clients. Until recently I couldn’t think of an illustration to explain why it is hard for them and not for me. I think I now have a personal story that illustrates why we all have something that is exceptionally hard for us and not for others.
Last October I started to experience a pain near my sciatic nerve. I went to a massage therapist and got some relief and I told myself, “It will eventually work itself out and the pain will go away”. I told myself that for five months and taking a daily dose of Aleve. In March, I realized the pain was not going away on its own. I was literally stuck in pain and had great difficulty moving. The less I moved, the more the pain increased, but it was hard to move. It was difficult for me to understand why I was in so much pain when “nothing” happened. I didn’t injure myself, I just woke up one day and had pain. I looked at others who moved so easily and thought, “Will I ever move easily again?”
During my annual physical I mentioned it to my doctor. She said, “Oh, that’s your pelvic it’s probably out of alignment. A physical therapist (PT) can help you work it out.”
I promptly saw a PT and she confirmed my left pelvic was out of alignment and all of the supporting muscles have been working overtime to compensate. It took five months of PT, chiropractic adjustments, and home strength exercises and stretching to get me back into alignment and not taking a daily dose of Aleve.
I’m now on home maintenance of exercises and stretching and probably will be for life. If I miss a day of exercising, the pain increases.
It seems my journey with pelvic pain is similar to how my clients experience disorganization. A situation occurs and their organization systems start to break down (similar to my pelvic supporting muscles). Ignoring the clutter or thinking they will get to it “someday” only increases their disorganization (similar to ignoring my pain only increased my pain). Eventually they become paralyzed (unable to move easily), overwhelmed by the clutter, and it is just too hard to make one step towards organizing.
It is at this point a decision is made. A – live with the clutter (the pain) or B – seek the help of a professional. If they decide on ‘A’ and live with the clutter it will increase and become chronic. If they decide on ‘B’ and work with a professional they learn that clearing the clutter is only the first step. Just like getting my pelvic adjusted and back in alignment was the first step. My pelvic won’t stay in place without maintaining strong supporting muscles. So, I need to exercise every day.
The same is true for organizing. Clearing the clutter is the easiest part (although not necessarily easy or painless). Maintaining a less cluttered or clutter free environment is the hardest part. It requires routine maintenance to keep the clutter at bay. But, it does get easier over time (as are my exercises) and becomes part of a daily routine. Eventually organizing is no longer hard.
Working with a professional through my physical pain was the only way I was going to begin to heal. Working with me may be the only way you will clear your clutter and begin to live an organized life. Organizing is easy for me because it’s a habit for me. One I developed decades ago. It can be easy and painless for you too.
When you are ready take the first step by completing an organizing needs assessment. I promise, I will make organizing as fun and painless as possible and we will work together to create a maintenance plan that you can be successful with!
Labels: Chronic Disorganization, Clutter, decision making, Habits, Organizing