Getting organized isn’t just about cleaning up a mess or decluttering your home: it’s a process that involves changing thought patterns and behaviors that cause the disorganization in the first place. There is so much about organizing that is rooted in psychology, which is why getting organized is such a challenge for so many people. When you start to understand the reasoning behind what has kept you unorganized, then you can start to rewrite those self-limiting thoughts with ones that will empower you to take control of the chaos.
Here are 5 of the most common psychological barriers that we as organization coaches see daily with our clients, and solutions to help work through them.
1 – “Organizing is such a painful chore”
So many people dread dealing with disorganization, constantly putting it off because they think it’s going to be painful. But instead of being in agony over the process (which really isn’t that bad!), stop and think about what you want your room to actually look like. How much more will you enjoy your space when it’s neat and clutter free? Imagine how it will feel once it’s organized, and use that vision to motivate you to get started. Shift your focus from the negative aspect of the situation to the positive desired outcome, and then set your mind to achieve it.
2 – “I’m just not an organized person”
While organizing does come naturally to some of us, anyone is capable of learning organization skills and techniques. Saying you’re not an organized person excuses disorganization as something you’re not in control of, which is just not true. Anyone who wants to get organized can do so, and if you’re ready to take on the challenge, an organization coach can be your guide to get you there. As you work through the organization process together, a coach helps you to adjust your way of thinking and come up with new systems of organization for your home. Not only will this process break the disorganization cycle, but it will also help you stay more tidy in the future.
3 – “Organizing is just too overwhelming”
Seeing an entire room or a whole house that needs to be organized is overwhelming for most people. But in reality, the hardest part is just getting started, so we recommend breaking things down into smaller, less overwhelming tasks. For example if you want to work on your home office, you could divide that into smaller tasks like clearing off the desk, sorting through drawers, filing paperwork, organizing the closet, and so on. Keeping yourself from feeling overwhelmed is key to being successful in both getting started and also completing your organizing goals. The more you accomplish the better you’ll feel and the more energized you’ll be to get the next project done.
4 – “I don’t have time to organize”
Everyone is busy and hardly anyone ever says they have time to spare, especially when it comes to things they don’t actually want to do, like organizing. But if you don’t make a conscious decision to get organized and schedule time for it, then it will probably never get done. That’s where having an accountability partner like an organizing coach can help. With weekly check-ins and strategy sessions, you’ll be able to follow a plan that will keep you on track with organizing. Once you decide to make organizing a priority and have someone hold you accountable, that’s when you’ll start making positive changes towards getting organized.
5 – “There’s not enough storage space in this house to be organized”
We as humans tend to fill every available space in our homes, always feeling the need to have more, and expanding into whatever size house we live in. Typically the main issue at hand here is not the lack of room or storage, but that the quantity of things in the house is just too much for the space. For many people, buying things makes you feel good, so you keep buying more until you end up with way more than you actually need and no place to put it all. A mindset shift is necessary in order to make a change in this situation. Learn to be happy with what you already have, grateful for what you own, and aware of what you actually need. Of course this is often easier said than done, but making a conscious decision is the only way to overcome the desire to always want more.
These 5 organization mindset blocks are just excuses that keep you stuck, unable to make any progress towards getting organized. Focus on becoming mindful of these things and make small adjustments to your way of thinking. If you find yourself struggling with this, working with an organization coach can help you uncover negative mindsets, shift your perspective, and develop a plan so that you can be able to move forward. Make your well-being a priority and empower yourself to finally break through the invisible wall that’s been holding you back from living a more organized life!