Likely at some point in life you’ve been frustrated and asked yourself ‘why am I so disorganized?’ Well, that could be a loaded question. It’s only fair to take into consideration our current life situation. So many other things can factor into disorganization such as habits, family history, cultural influence, social behavior, and chronic issues.
If you're feeling like you are ready to bring order into your life and home, you have to honestly ask yourself, 'When was the last time I felt like my life was in order? Or have I always struggled with managing my life and home?' 'Do I need support for a chronic diagnosis?' If you can pinpoint a precipitating moment in your life that created a noticeable shift - that has directly contributed to your current circumstances - then you may be dealing with situational disorganization.
Situational disorganization occurs when life happens as they say but we haven’t recovered. Life altering events such as a loss of a loved one, divorce, or moving can disrupt our normal habits and routines. As a matter of fact, even well-planned life changes such as expanding your family or landing a well-deserved promotion can shake things up in ways that we may never have expected.
We Need to Continually Give Ourselves Grace
Mindset Hack: No one's life or home is perfect. I can regain order by resting and resetting.
Life at one time or another will undermine your best plans. Therefore, we must be in the mindset that when we’ve done all we can, the next best thing is to give ourselves grace. It may sound cliche, however, if your goal is to integrate organized living as part of your overall wellness, then you must acknowledge that life is a journey- there will be peaks and valleys. Take time to rest & restore yourself and when appropriate strategically plan to reset.
This mindset will affect how we approach situational disorganization. Exercising patience with ourselves is one of the hardest things. Especially if we’ve experienced the bliss of having things in order. Accepting that life has changed is the first step, next we have to embrace our new life even if things never fully go back to how they were - we will be okay.
Three Mindset Shifts That Can Help You During Tough Times:
“I don't have time” → “I am intentional with my time so I will create order in my life and home”
“I don’t know what's going to happen” → “I am focused on what I can control, I will pivot if necessary”
“I don’t have the support I need” → “I will look for creative ways to delegate and outsource”
One mindset shift that has helped me tremendously in giving myself grace is remembering that the story isn’t over yet. In six months, life can look so different, imagine a year or eternity. I hope you realize it is never too late to start fresh.
Planning a Life Reset
Organization is not a destination, it's a journey. When our lifestyle changes, we simply reset. Sometimes the problem is that we think we are too busy or too overwhelmed to take a step back but, in order to strategically plan an intentional life reset, that is exactly what we need to do. Initially you may feel overwhelmed when looking at the whole picture, but like a good brain dump, you will feel an immense sense of relief once you have a plan.
As you're planning your reset, determine the length of the disruption. Is it temporary or will things continue to change? For example, the birth of a newborn child is one of the most exciting times. Things will never be the same - trust me. As your child matures, they will gain a measure of independence. How will this affect your home? Will you need to babyproof? How will it affect your schedule? Do you need to delegate more or outsource other household responsibilities?
Whereas if you’ve accepted a new promotion, within a few months, more than likely, you will be well adjusted into your new role and responsibilities. Once this transition has passed you should be able to fall back into your previously established habits and routines.
And when it comes to the sensitive subjects of death and divorce, these life events affect each individual in a unique way. Life may never be the same but are you open to the new possibilities? Plan for what is to come, it is important to have a vision of what you want your life to look like after tough times have passed.
After completing this exercise, I’m sure you may be experiencing a lot of emotions, but no doubt you have useful insight that you can use for your benefit. Evaluate your priorities, limit them to three. If you could organize one thing in your life or your home, what would it be? What time-sensitive tasks do you need to take care of? What part of your daily routine brings you joy? What habits and routines can you effortlessly fall back on to create order? This is the exact process that our team uses when creating a plan for our professional organizing clients.
Pro Tip: Automate what you can and then delegate or outsource the rest.
Let's say you’re in the process of planning a move or you’ve just relocated. There are simple tasks that are essential, like completing a temporary change-of-address form at the post office, transferring utilities services, and updating any mail order subscriptions or regular deliveries. If they’re multiple individuals living in the household, delegate the task of decluttering their personal possessions six weeks prior to the move. Another helpful task to outsource would be hiring packers and/or movers. If the situational disorganization that you’re experiencing is on the back end of the move, pick one key area to organize at a time. Is your kitchen set up? Allowing you to make mealtime easy? Dedicate time to unpack the kitchen fully, create zones on how you will function in this new space, schedule and automate your grocery delivery. If your laundry is piling up? Create a functional laundry system and a plan of action to get caught up. Could you ask for help or treat yourself to a one-time laundry service to reset your routine?
As you gain clarity on what you want your new life to feel and look like, you can set clear intentions. Breaking down what needs to happen into small actionable steps will help you keep going even when you momentarily lack motivation. Slowly but surely, you will see the results, and this will bring you more peace of mind. Learning the necessary steps to reset your life no matter the situation is time well spent.