"I Failed!"

Uncategorized Sep 07, 2023

Though I have helped hundreds of people get organized since I started this business six years ago, I still struggle to stay organized! Does that surprise you? Well, I wasn’t born organized. It's something I've had to learn! It is at this point right here where I fall down from time to time. The first time it happened, I thought I had failed at becoming organized and staying organized. My intention here is to share that I got back up and continued to live organized.

Backsliding is the term we use in the organizing biz. It entails setting up a system and for a myriad of reasons, the clutter and disorganization shows its ugly head. This is completely NORMAL!!! It can last a day or couple of weeks and can happen more than once. The best piece of advice I can give is to remain calm, give yourself grace, you’ll get back in the groove. If you do happen to get down on yourself, it will take a lot longer to get back on track.

Let’s look at some causes of backsliding that I have seen in myself and in my clients. Personally, I like to think of these as clutter triggers.
Busy: not having enough time to maintain an organizing system. The funny thing is that if we actually maintained the system, we’d have more time in most situations!
Rebellion: Yes, clutter goes deep for some. It really triggers and moves people to
succumb to negative thoughts
New Season: something has changed to affect the current system. Could be a new job
or something bigger like a birth. It doesn’t really matter how big the life event is, it can
contribute to backsliding.
Tired: doing too much or not sleeping well can contribute to a lack of desire to stay organized.
Physical: An illness can affect your physical ability to function at any level, not a surprise it would affect your organized life.
Greater than Normal Stress: this affects the decision making, focus and energy. These are the biggest components of living organized. If they aren’t working well then neither will your organizing systems.

How to Come Back from Backsliding:
Remember this is TEMPORARY so do not give up!!!!!

  1. Work within your organizing personality. Stay true to what resonates with you. Ex: Visual people need organizing systems that support this. Open shelving, clear bins and labeling are helpful. It would not benefit this person to attempt to have everything tucked away behind closed doors.
  2. Start small. Try to pick one area that bothers you the most about your organizing system. 
  3. Do it immediately. As soon as you possibly can, get the 1st small area reorganized. This will benefit you in a variety of ways. First and foremost, it’s a catalyst!
  4. Accountability is beneficial to provide you with support. Let someone know what you’re working on and why. The power in letting the words flow from your mouth keys in your brain to engage.
  5. Seek help. Sometimes, you need a hand. There is absolutely no shame in this. You may only need help getting started, once you start you are able to carry on. Maybe you can get to the end of the project and need help with the loose ends. Fresh perspective can be a welcome help for some. If you don’t have anyone, hire a Professional Organizer. In my own practice, I am happy to meet the client wherever they are. Many of us offer virtual session and these are geared to someone who just needs ideas, guidance, support and encouragement.

Backsliding does not mean you have failed at your organizing attempts or that you’ll never be able to conquer clutter and disorganization. It should bring about a pause for evaluation of the systems you had for organizing along with what is going on in your life. This can definitely be a positive. Opportunities to improve are gifts. Hang on, don’t give up and you’ll persevere!!


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