I consider myself very fortunate when I get hired to help out an individual in their home or in their office. I absolutely love what I do! Whether I am working in a home (getting it ready to sell, or helping with a relocation) or in an office (working with time management and productivity), I love it all! What I have found is that the majority of my projects have a reoccurring theme: too much stuff and/or not enough time. Plain and simple.
When I look back at my teaching days, there were so many times where I wish I could have said what I really wanted to say. Instead of saying, “Johnny likes the social side of school”, what I really wanted to say was, “Johnny won’t shut up. He talks constantly and doesn’t get his work done.” I would have never, ever said that to any parent, but just once it would have been great to just say it like it was. In my life as a Professional Organizer, there are also times when I wish I could just cut to the chase. I wish that sometimes I could take a “Dr. Phil” approach and just tell it like I see it. Dr. Phil seems to say it like it is and people still love him. So, here’s my Dr. Phil version on what I believe are three cold hard truths about habits that create disorganization:
Cold Hard Truth #1 – STOP BUYING
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen what I will call a waste of money on ‘stuff’. And yes, it is just stuff. The times I have heard,
“You wouldn’t believe the deal I got on this!”
“This was 70% off! How can you pass on that?”
“I plan on using that next year.”
…and my all-time favorite,
“I plan to fit into those jeans in 3 months.”
The truth is, stop buying. Purchase what you need. If you need a new pair of jeans, then by all means go buy a new pair of jeans. Just buy jeans that fit you! If you need a new set of pots, go buy them. Don’t buy a set of pots because they’re 70% off knowing you’re going to keep the ones you already have AND you plan on keeping the new ones! Purchase items for need, not because of the sale!
Cold Hard Truth #2 – TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
It’s so easy to blame others for being disorganized. The truth is, if your home or your office is disorganized, you are responsible for that disorganization. You may keep putting off doing the laundry until it is overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. You may have papers that keep piling up. You, or someone else, keeps piling up those papers. Simply put, you let it happen. Take responsibility for your space! If it is true, that your family contributes to the majority of the disorganization, sit them down and explain how it makes you feel. You are the adult and if you don’t like what is happening in your own home (or office), then explain what you would like to see and why.
Cold Hard Truth #3 – STOP MAKING EXCUSES
We are all busy. We all have lives that pull us in a thousand directions. What makes you think your life is any busier than the next person? Do these sound familiar?
“Oh, I’m just so busy!”
“I’m just so tired I don’t have it in me.”
“I’ll work on that on the weekend.”
“I’m keeping those for when my kids move out.”
The truth is, you continue to make excuses. We all tend to put off the things we don’t like to do. If you continue to make excuses, you are eventually going to face an overwhelming situation (i.e.: the laundry piled to the ceiling) and not know where to start. 99% of the people I know do not have a maid or butler to do things for us. So, stop making excuses and do what needs to get done (or hire someone to do it for you).
As Dr. Phil has stated,
“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”
Acknowledge what your causes of disorganization are and face them head on! It’s time…