Skip to main content

Why is organizing so hard?

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!

Comments

Pam Rechel said…
Great way to remind us all about how the problem gradually disintegrates, as we ignore it. And, that there's hope!
Pam Rechel said…
Great way to remind us that ignoring the clutter gradually makes it worse. And, that when we're ready to deal with it, there is hope and help!
Anne said…
Well said Pam!

Popular posts from this blog

The A-List Way to Organize Photos (photo courtesy of unsplash.com)
Summer months are filled with special events such as graduations, weddings, and vacations.  That means lots of photos!  Nowadays, we capture these moments digitally.  But, for many of us, we have decades of printed photos waiting to be organized and preserved.  I have heard clients say they want to organize their printed photos but the task seems so overwhelming they just can't imagine where or how to begin.  I approach all organizing projects with my 5-steps to organizing® process.  Follow along as I take you through those steps to organize your printed photos.

Step 1: Strategize - How to Begin
What are your goals? Why do you want to organize your photos?Do you want to create memory books for your children?Do you want to relive a special trip or event?Do you want to know what you have?How do you want to keep your photos? Do you want to keep them in safe archival boxes?Do you want to scan them?Do you want to create memo…

5 Ways to Get Organized for Tax Season - We Make It Easy!

It happens every year, whether we want it to or not, tax time.  Nearly every day I receive something by email or snail mail reminding me, tax time is coming.

Are you dreading the task of gathering up receipts to prepare your tax filing?  Don't know what to do with your financial records? Do you have stacks of unopened bills? Do you stress out at tax time trying to find all your required documents? And, are you lacking a system for managing all this mess?
Here are a few solutions for you: Track your non-cash donations with ItsDeductible by Intuit. IRS approved.Scan your receipts with the GeniusScan App and attach the pdf to your Quicken or Quickbooks entry for easy retrieval should you be audited.Not sure whether to scan, shred or store that piece of paper? This quick infographic can help.Are you a geeky nerd like me and want to be on top of the tax rules? Then J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2018 is right up your alley.Hire a professional organizer to help you organize your pape…

Permission is the Key

Recently I was asked, "When did you find your voice and how do you help your clients find their voice?"  What powerful questions!  I thought about how to answer those two questions for weeks.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day Vera Katz, former Mayor of Portland declared June 14th John Mosser Day. John was my father.  I know the answer to both questions.

I found my voice on August 21, 1996.  My father was in a coma and dying.  I couldn't stand to hear his labored breathing.  I leaned over him and said, "Dad it is okay to let go, forget the car keys* and leave.  We'll be okay."  He opened his eyes, looked into mine, and breathed his last breaths.  It was my voice, my permission, that released him.

*Every morning my father would leave the house, walk to his car, get in his car, get out of his car, and walk back to the house for his keys.  Sometimes it was multiple trips back and forth between the car and the house for his hat, briefcase, coat, but always f…