Want to Get Organized? Identify the Source of Your Disorganization
I have a distinct childhood memory of frantically trying to clean up a growing puddle of liquid from the floor. I must have knocked over a jug of something on the kitchen counter, milk or juice (probably juice, sticky and harder to clean up). Panicked, I grabbed a towel and started by cleaning the floor, all the while allowing the spilled jug to continue flowing onto the countertop and down the face of the cabinets. My dad rushed to the rescue, set the jug upright, and taught me how to conquer a spill. First, I cleaned the counter, then moved down the cabinets, and finished with the floor. My original method had left me spinning my wheels because I had not dealt with the source of the mess.
In a bigger, less obvious, way we do this in our homes. You get overwhelmed by clutter, then motivated to clean out. You donate mounds of items. But, if the habits that brought clutter into the home remain unaddressed, then you will never really accomplish change. Give it a year or so and you’ll be back where you started, frustrated and overwhelmed, thinking that this summer you really will get cleaned out and organized.
Just stop right there! Let’s start by setting the jug of juice upright instead of frantically mopping up the floor.
Ask yourself: WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF MY DISORGANIZATION OR CLUTTER?
Is it shopping? Do you love the thrill of acquiring? Whether free, discounted, or full-price, if you continue to bring things into your home that you don’t really need, you will continue to feed the clutter that requires purging.
Do you struggle to get rid of what other people acquire for you? Gifts, hand-me-downs (even useful ones), can add up quickly. If this is the case with you, then you might want to make a donation drop-off a regular part of your weekly errands. I will let you decide whether talking to the source of your clutter would be helpful in the relationship or not.
Do you have bad clean-up habits? There’s really nothing to do here, but change your habits or change your method of cleaning up. One of my kids refused to keep clothing neat, so I just got a Rubbermaid bin and everything goes in there, folded or not. This would not be my choice, and sometimes her clothing looks wrinkled as a result, but at least it’s off the floor and not driving us crazy. If you dump everything on a chair because you hate to hang things up, then install some hooks in your closet where you can “hang” quickly.
You are not required to live in a Better Homes & Gardens photo shoot, but if you feel disorganized or cluttered than something needs to change. Just make sure that you address the source of your frustration so that you don’t cause more stress for yourself by endlessly cleaning out.
If you’re ready to break the cycle of spending so much time on stuff, and you want some help, feel free to contact me! firstname.lastname@example.org