These are common myths that we tend to tell ourselves. They can hold us back, make us feel bad and make organizing harder than it needs to be.
1. I just need to try harder. This is a simple thing… Just do it!!
Not everybody is a linear thinker. You need some linear thinking to do the process; getting the macro view helps to identify what to do first or second or last. You might need some coaching help to identify your vision and how to prioritize things. It’s not about being lazy or industrious, it’s more about how your brain works and gaining objectivity about your own stuff.
2. I could knock this out in a couple hours if I just put my mind to it.
If you usually find organizing pretty challenging, it’s not reasonable to expect you can handle an overwhelming situation in a short period of time. And, if you think a week of solid work would do the trick, can you imagine how exhausting it would be to shift to “organizing mode?” and make it last for days? Be realistic about your time estimates and plan to work in stages.
3. My partner/spouse/children will be absolutely delighted when I get organized.
The fact that someone isn’t experiencing the clutter as a problem might mean they won’t be invested in the solutions. Everyone has a different tolerance level for clutter. If they don’t experience it as an issue, they might find it disruptive if you go and make changes independently. It’s good to do some legwork, but try to get buy-in on what the solution will look like so you’re not imposing your vision on someone else and expect them to maintain it.
4. I need pretty (and expensive) bins to be organized…and bins will automatically make me organized.
Buying containers put the cart before the horse. You need to know what you’re storing, why, and where before you know how to contain it. A shoebox can work just as well as an attractive woven basket. First focus on the function that the container needs to fulfill and then buy or repurpose one that fits your budget and style.
5. If I’m not born an “organized person” I will never be organized.
There’s lots of way to get help: blogs, accountability buddies, or working with a professional organizer. Part of our mandate as professional organizers is to transfer skills to the client that they can carry forward. Even though organizing can be easiest for those who naturally think a certain way, techniques can be learned by just about anyone. Working with a professional can help you acquire those skills.
Give yourself a break and ask for a helping hand. It might not take as much as you think to get past your roadblocks. You’re not alone in this, help is available.