After almost seven years of working with people to achieve and maintain order in their lives, I have discovered something that many of you might find surprising. Everyone I work with has the potential to be organized, and most of them have been organized at some point in their lives. I explain to all of my clients that organization is a learned behavior, not just an innate ability (or perceived inability).
Many people become disorganized after some type of life event that derails them from organized living. Here are some examples of such events:
- Moving to another home or office
- Starting a new job or becoming an entrepreneur
- Marriage or merging two households
- Having a child
- Losing a spouse or close relative
- Unexpected illness
- Death in the family
- Downsizing out of necessity
In the organizing industry, we refer to people who are temporarily disorganized due to conditions like these as “situationally disorganized.” Those who are in transition often have their schedules and routines completely thrown off. As a Professional Organizer, I get to help people who are disoriented during transitional periods in their lives. When their current systems are out of whack, I help them fix what’s wrong or we create new and improved systems. And everyone knows de-cluttering is a restorative process that allows us to focus on what’s important and to reclaim control over our lives.
If you find yourself situationally disorganized, what can you do? I’m going to share my best tactics with you! First, aim to ground yourself again by determining a few activities that have anchored you in the past. Some examples are: yoga and other exercise, getting plenty of rest, or spending time with family or friends. Next, prioritize these activities so you’re able to implement them in your daily schedule. Lastly, create a new system based on these grounding events that sustain your current (transitional) lifestyle. When I have used these techniques with many clients who have been situationally disorganized, I have seen great results.
During the times you are disorganized during transitions, you are definitely not alone. The best thing to do when you enter this state is to remind yourself that perhaps everyone experiences this at some point in their life. When you’re ready, create a plan to get grounded and stick to it. If you do this, the period of disorganization will only be temporary and you can get yourself back to an organized ilfestyle once again.