When I meet new clients for the first time I always start with a tour of their home. I’m looking for two things: volume of clutter and presence or lack of systems. These are the only two reasons that people struggle to stay organized and the good news is that they are both simple to remedy if you are willing to put in the work.
Problem One: Volume of Clutter
Everything you bring into your home needs to be cared for, cleaned, and organized. We have reached a tipping point where the ability to own a lot of stuff has become more suffocating than liberating. If you find it difficult to stay on top of your belongings, you probably just own more than you can manage.
The simplest thing you can do to solve your clutter problem is to donate half of what you own to charity. Most people get overwhelmed by this task and prefer to have a friend or a professional organizer support them through the process. I joke with my clients that 90% of our work is getting rid of stuff. The other 10% is organizing and styling once we can see clearly.
Problem Two: Lack of Systems
When I take a home tour I’m scanning for information and asking a lot of clarifying questions. If there are piles on surfaces or on the floor I ask what they are and why they are there. These items either need to be put away in their “home” or they need an assigned place to live. In order to stay organized, you must have systems set up for everything you bring into your space.
Creating an organizational system is as easy as corralling similar things together and creating a “home” for them. An example is if you have mail, bills, and papers floating all over the house, you can gather them all up and store them together in a bin or basket. This “system” couldn’t be simpler and if you consistently put all of these items in this dedicated place, it will ensure that you can easily find your important papers within seconds.
Need some support and a clear road map to get organized? Join the Virtual Closet Makeover Program and set yourself up for success this year – I promise this is the most fun and efficient way to get your home in order!
Images: Vivian Johnson Photo
2 comments on “The Two Reasons You’re Not Organized”
Can I add a third idea? Perhaps lack of motivation also comes into play. When I call you, my motivation increases exponentially — even though I know what needs to be done, I just don’t want to do it myself.
Lois is right on the money! I was about to say the same thing. Only sometimes people say “I’m lazy” which is just another (not-as-nice) way to say unmotivated.