18 Jun Are you Situationally or Chronically Disorganized?
Have you tried many times to get organized without success? Is the Komari method everyone raves about not working for you? Do you feel defeated and truly believe nothing you do brings more order to your life?
Everyone experiences times when organizing is challenging, for example during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving to a new home, welcoming a baby to the family, or losing a loved one are also situations that cause temporary disorganization.
Temporary disorganization during a transition in life is normal and to be expected.
When this happens, give yourself some time to get used to your new lifestyle. After a while, you’ll automatically develop new habits and routines that help you reclaim control over your stuff and your life.
Unfortunately, some people struggle with disorganization all the time, living in a state of chronic disorganization.
Does this sound familiar:
- I often lose track of time.
- I have a wide range of interests.
- I have extreme difficulty letting go of items.
- I have lots of possessions or papers beyond what I need and use.
- I struggle with completing tasks and have many unfinished projects.
- I need to see things as a reminder to take action.
- I am easily distracted.
If that sounds like you, and you have struggled with organization since childhood or adolescence, you might suffer from chronic disorganization.
It is important to understand if your disorganization is situationally, or if you are affected by chronic disorganization, as each of these situations require different organizing strategies.
Answer 3 simple questions to learn more:
- Has getting organized been a challenge for you most of your adult life?
- Does being disorganized negatively affect your life in some way every day?
- Have you tried and failed to get organized by yourself?
If you answered YES to all questions, your quality of life is most likely negatively impacted by your clutter and you feel stressed or maybe even burnt out because of it.
Chronically disorganized people have cluttered living spaces, tend to loose items, and have difficulty letting go of belongings.
Often, items are placed in sight as a reminder to take action and flat surfaces are covered with stacks of papers. Another common characteristic is that important documents can’t be found, deadlines are missed, and projects are left unfinished.
Add to this failed self-help attempts and consequential loss of confidence in a better future, and you get a clear picture of what chronic disorganization truly looks and feels like.
If you feel chronic disorganization impacts your life, here’s what you can do.
Don’t blame yourself
Whatever the reason for the chaos in your life, this is not your fault. You did not choose to live like this. You are not alone but if you are in doubt, Google “decluttering” and you will find more than 40 million results and you will understand you are not the only one in a constant fight with your stuff.
Bad things happen to most of us, and all we can control is how we respond to it. Decide for yourself how you want to deal with this situation and take the first step that helps you move forward.
There are many causes for clutter and it is essential to analyze where the clutter in your life comes from. When you understand the true reason why staying organized is so incredibly hard, you can look for strategies that work specifically for you.
ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, anxiety, depression, poor mental health, are all examples of clutter causes. And there are many more.
Follow experts in the field of disorganization
Go online and follow people who share information about decluttering and organizing. Listen to Podcasts, watch YouTube videos and select a few of your favorites.
Join a support group
You are not alone, trust me. On my resources pages you will find links to support groups that might be helpful for you or your loved one.
Ask for help
If chronic disorganization affects you or your loved one, consider working with a Professional Organizer trained in chronic disorganization. You can find the best ones in the world one on the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) website.
I am a proud ICD® subscriber and ICD Chronic Disorganization Specialist®. This ICD® education has equipped me to serve clients affected by chronic disorganization with targeted strategies, skills and techniques. I am aware of safety and neurological issues that may impact my client, and know of resources available in our community.
Feel free to contact me if you want to chat about organizing, the ICD or need help finding an organizer for your specific situation.
Complete this self-test “Are you Affected by Chronic Disorganization?” to learn more about your personal situation.