I was helping a client this week who has a beautiful home. Everything seemed to have its place and the home was very warm and inviting. I was asked to help with the home office. The office had a desk piled with papers, bills and receipts as well as boxes of more of the same tucked under the desk. I have seen much worse than this, but my client was struggling to get the home office organized and back into a functioning room. As we began to work, we talked about the reasons for the room’s unorganized state. There is always a reason behind the clutter. I am not saying this so that we can justify the clutter but to help us recognize that there is something behind the physical clutter we see. Here are a few examples of the reasons why people now have clutter when they used to be able to handle it:
• Death of a loved one
• Medical crises/long term illness
• Change/loss of job (including retirement)
• Family members moving in/out
• New baby
• Moving to a new location
All of these reasons have something in common; change and transition. This is a very common trigger for many of us that causes a once under-control home to become cluttered and less functional.
“Every time we go through a major change, we experience a breakdown in our organizational systems.” ~ Julie Morgenstern
Periods of transition, such as the ones listed above, require that we give ourselves time to adapt and adjust and then rework our organizational systems to be more in line with our new, current reality.
“Our life is not static and neither are our organizing systems.” ~ Natalie Conrad
In other words, give yourself a break. You are going through, or have just gone through, a transition. Once you feel the earth is a little more solid under your feet again, then get some help and get back to being organized. Tweak your old systems or set up a new organizational system.
But here’s the thing – start with the present. Don’t try to go back through all the things that were “let go” during your transition. Deal with the things that are presently coming in the mail, the projects at hand, and the bills to be paid this month. Set up a system to manage today and if you have time, go back and straighten up the past later.
If you need ideas on how to get started on being more organized now that you’ve gone through a transition, keep reading this blog for ideas to get you started. Use the “search” function and key words to get help for your particular situation or room in the house. You can also leave me a comment and pick my brain a little!