Organize Flickr:alborzshawn

Some folks think you’re either born with the organizing gene or you’re not. I don’t think so. Yes, some folks may be more inclined to enjoy perusing at Staples, or get excited about a new organizing gadget or tip. But I believe we all yearn for some sense of order in our lives – a sense of ease and flow as we go about our business whether that be oil and gas accounting or artistic hat making.

Myth Buster # 2: Everyone has Times and Places Where they are Disorganized

While I’ve always had a strong compulsion to corral and control my “stuff”, I often have times or spaces in my life that feel chaotic and look like a tornado has hit. As mentioned in Myth # 1, life is not a still photograph. Everything changes – eventually. And when things change, it can wreak havoc in even the most organized of routines and spaces.

For example, a couple of years ago we had a new addition to our family – an adorable Brittany Spaniel puppy. My semi-retired husband would manage him most mornings. But the first few times my husband had to work and I had to get the dog to doggy day care on my way to work, it was chaotic. It took me three trips to get out of my neighborhood and on my way to work. I forgot my cell phone. I forgot my gym bag. I forgot the dog’s lunch. Only one of those items was new to the routine. It took several days to get the new routine worked out and get out of the house in one trip. I still don’t do it regularly enough that it goes smoothly every time.

What Makes us Think We’re NOT Organized

Our world has a numerous ways to make us feel we are inadequate when it comes to being organized. Here are just a couple:

  1. New Year’s resolutions and the accompanying magazine articles to be ‘Organized at last’. These things perpetuate the premise that ‘being organized’ is something you ‘are’ and once you attain it, you have for life. I’m sorry to tell you, it just doesn’t work that way.

Not only is ‘being organized’ something we need to learn, it’s uniquely different to each and every one of us, and our ever changing environments. What worked for us last year or last month may not work for us today. We need to continually evaluate, adjust, and sometimes completely overhaul our organizing systems to fit our current reality. But don’t let that thought overwhelm you. There are some basic organizing principles that can help you figure out a solution to any scenario.

2. The endless array of organizing books and paraphernalia on the market that I’m sure could rival the diet industry. Each book or gizmo promises to be the answer to your organizing dilemmas ‘once and for all’. I’m not saying there is no value in any of these items. I am saying there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

How to Overcome Feelings of NOT Being Organized

The most valuable organizing principle I’ve learned is the art of letting go. To be better organized and handle an ever changing world, I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of “things”. For example:

  • Let go of the idea of what it “should” look like. See Myth #1.
  • Let go of organizing systems and tools that no longer work for me.
  • Let go of “stuff” that no longer fits my current life and dreams
    • clothes that don’t fit me or my activities
    • paraphernalia for hobbies I no longer pursue
    • books, movies, music I know I will never want to revisit
    • kitchenware I haven’t used for years

Letting go can be tough. It can also be liberating and rewarding. It can free up space in your mind as well as your closets and cupboards. Try letting go of ideas and things that no longer serve you. Aim for being organized enough.

So what are you holding on to that is keeping you from being better organized?

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