While organizing a space isn't rocket science, it’s not always intuitive either. I was with a client the other week who is whip smart, highly educated and has designed a beautiful home for herself, yet she continually beats herself up for her lack of organizational skills.
I had her sifting through some of her paperwork and she kept getting up to put them into the recycling bin, so the other organizer I had with me asked if she would like the bin next to her instead. A simple step, like moving a recycling bin closer seemed so obvious to us, yet would never have occurred to my client, and she said just that. And then felt dumb for not having thought of it herself. But she wasn’t dumb. Organizing just isn’t her forte.
In the same way that I would never have thought to mix colors and patterns the way she does to create the beautiful home that she has, she wouldn't look at the eight junk drawers in her kitchen and envision a neatly organized command center. We all have our strengths. We all have areas we excel at. Why beat yourself up for the the areas you don’t?
It seems that every listicle, Buzzfeed article, and Instagram post out there has a million “simple hacks” and “super-easy DIYs” to get you and your family organized. Like if you read that article some magic spell will wash over you and *poof* you're organized. And if you try these techniques and STILL can't get your s*&t together that you are some kind of failure. You’re not.
What many of these articles tend to leave out is how personal an experience this can be. And how the only way to truly make changes is to find what works for you and not try to mold your behavior so that you can finally make use of that DIY picture frame turned meal-planner-dry-erase-board that still doesn’t look quite like the “after picture”.
I get that this may be a bit of a strange article coming from a Professional Organizer and a blogger who frequently writes how-to articles on organization. But I’m really tired of friends, clients and sometimes even strangers telling me how embarrassed they are of their kitchen drawers, linen closets or basement. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. But, if it’s not working for you then don’t be afraid to ask for help and change it.
It’s funny what society deems is acceptable to delegate or outsource to others. You’re not embarrassed to having a weekly cleaning person come and wash your floors. Or a company to come and mow your lawn. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure or that you are incapable of doing these things. You just recognize that your time would be better spent focusing on the things that you are good at.
There are so many things beyond our control that can contribute to a lack of organization. Both major and minor life events can cause our plans to shift and our routines to go out of whack. School ending, a change in jobs, the birth of a new baby, adding a family pet, the death of a loved one. It’s not always easy to adapt to these changes without feeling overwhelmed. So it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to outsource the tasks you can’t or don’t want to do. It’s also okay to not feel guilty about it. We’re all in the same boat, we all have busy lives with different obligations pulling us in different directions.
If what you’re doing is working for you then don’t worry about what other people say or think. But if it’s not then commit to change. Reach out to a friend, or family member or even to a Professional Organizer. Just stop beating yourself up about it.