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#1 Reason for Disorganization

By Audrey Thomas, CSP a.k.a. Organized Audrey

Clutter. If you have a lot of it, it is a constant reminder of your disorganization and messiness. If you have only a few places where clutter is always a constant, then perhaps you find yourself avoiding these areas due to the clutter. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • You enjoy keeping your office cubicle neat and tidy, while things at home are a different story. You can just never seem to catch up with everything that comes in to your home.
  • It was your turn to host the family for a recent holiday and in order to get ready you played “Stash and Dash” with the piles sitting on your dining room table and kitchen counters. Now you’re procrastinating sorting through and cleaning up all of those sacks you filled and hid away in a closet or basement.
  • You haven’t parked your car in your garage for some time because you’re using it as a storage unit instead. Every time you open your garage door you fear your neighbors seeing the state of your garage.

Regardless of where your clutter is located or how deep it goes, take a few moments to reflect and ask yourself why you think you have this clutter. When I pose this question to my audiences, here are the most frequent responses I receive:

  1. I just don’t have enough time to keep up with everything.
  2. I have too much to do.
  3. I live with a slob.
  4. I can’t say “No”.
  5. I like garage sales/shopping/bargains.
  6. I have toddlers or teenagers or both!
  7. I’m so overwhelmed with my clutter and feel paralyzed in getting rid of it.
  8. I’m sort of emotionally attached to my “stuff”; I just don’t want to part with anything.
  9. I don’t have enough storage space.
  10. I need a bigger house.

While you might resonate with some or all of the above reasons, I think you’ll agree with what I think is the #1 reason why people have disorganization. It is:

The Inability to Make Decisions

Think about this for just a moment. Look around wherever you have clutter. On your kitchen counter, dining room table, in your email Inbox. Wherever you have clutter you have decisions waiting to be made. Some of these decisions will take only a second; others might take a bit more. Here are some of the decisions waiting to be made:

  • Toss/shred/recycle
  • Delete
  • File
  • Store
  • Return to a store
  • Send in the mail
  • Clean/launder
  • Mend
  • Pay a bill

Notice that the above list consists of verbs. Decisions waiting to be made on clutter are actions waiting to be implemented. In order to clear the clutter, a decision must be made.

So the next time you have clutter anywhere – in your home, car, purse or office – look at it as a pile of decisions waiting to be made. And tell yourself that, rather quickly, you can go from clutter to calm!

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